Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Islam is Religous Nazi movement

Iran president sees "countdown" to Israel's end
REUTERS - June 3, 2007TEHRAN - Iran's president said on Sunday the Lebanese and the Palestinians had pressed a "countdown button" to bring an end to Israel.President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who triggered outrage in the West two years ago when he said Israel should be "wiped off the map", has often referred to the destruction of the Jewish state but says Iran is not a threat."With God's help, the countdown button for the destruction of the Zionist regime has been pushed by the hands of the children of Lebanon and Palestine," Ahmadinejad said in a speech."By God's will, we will witness the destruction of this regime in the near future," he said. He did not elaborate. - - - Ahmadinejad was speaking ahead of Monday's anniversary of the death in 1989 of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, whose words Ahmadinejad echoed when he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map". - - - -
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The prince of the kingdom of Persia
Ahmadinijad's bluster boosted by secret deal for North Korean Taep'o-dong-2 ballistic missiles DEBKAFILE - June 5, 2007Iran and North Korea are in advanced negotiations for Tehran's purchase of Taep'o-dong-2 ballistic missiles, whose estimate range is 3,500-4,000 km., DEBKAfile's exclusive intelligence sources report. North Korea's deputy foreign minister Kim Hyong brought the proposition to its final stages when he visited Tehran in the first week of May. Delivery was promised for late July or early August. US Vice President Richard Cheney informed Saudi King Abdullah of this development during his May visit to Riyadh, as DEBKA-Net-Weekly 300 first revealed on May 11.Israeli military sources say that Iranian president Mahoud Ahmadinejad's declarations are made more outrageous than ever by knowledge of the deal. Sunday he declared the countdown has begun for the demise of the Zionist state. Aly Larijani, head of Iran's Supreme national Security Council said Monday: "The deployment of the US air system in Europe to counter Iranian missiles is the joke of the year." He said Iran's missiles could not reach Europe. That may have been true at this moment - but not after the delivery of the North Korean missiles at summer's end. Russian president Vladimir Putin was also undoubtedly aware of this when he said Europe is not threatened by long-range missiles from Iran. In fact, Tehran's acquisition of the Taep'o-dong-2 will triple its long-range missile arsenal and upgrade its range and quality.
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Mofaz Leads Defense Delegation to US To Discuss Iranian Threat ARUTZ SHEVA - By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz - June 5, 2007Transportation Minister Sha'ul Mofaz, who has served as the IDF Chief of Staff and as Defense Minister, is heading a defense delegation to the United States Tuesday. The delegation is slated to hold a series of talks with American officials on Iran's nuclear weapons potential and the possibility of Israeli negotiations with Syria.The planned marathon of meetings comes on the heels of information reaching Israel to the effect that US President George Bush has no intention to carry out a military strike against Iran. Israel is seeking to clarify the matter, particularly in light of continuing virulent anti-Israel statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his declared intention to ignore international demands that Iran freeze its nuclear program. - - -After an explosion at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility that destroyed 50 centrifuges, Iranian Vice-President Gholamreza Aghazadeh said that some equipment had been "manipulated," intimating foreign involvement. A CBS news report claimed that US intelligence agents are attempting to sabotage Iran's nuclear development by supplying it with faulty components. - - - -Read Full Report


IDF intelligence research chief confirms Hizballah is rebuilding strongholds south of Litani and preparing for a summer war DEBKAFILE - June 4, 2007DEBKAfile reports: Brig. Gen. Yosi Baidatz reported Monday, June 4, that Hizballah is busy restoring its fortified positions south of the Litani in villages and open ground under the very noses of UNIFIL international observers. His briefing to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee contradicts assertions by prime minister Ehud Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Livni that UNIFIL has prevented the militia's return to its old positions on the Israeli border since a UN ceasefire ended the Lebanon War last August.The AMAN research division's commander stated on the contrary, that not only does UNIFIL fail to prevent the free ongoing flow of weapons to Hizballah from Syria and Iran, but the peacekeepers have fallen down on their primary mission of holding the pro-Iranian militia back form redeploying along the Israeli border. Turning to the situation in Gaza, Gen. Baidatz reported that Hamas, which heads the Palestinian government, is satisfied with the results of its missile offensive. After firing hundreds of Qassam missiles across the border for nearly three weeks, Israelis are fleeing a town and some villages, while . He warned that Hamas is going ahead with its plans for an Iraq-style mega-attack inside Israel and further kidnappings.Read Full Report

West unable to act against Iran, Ahmadinejad says YEDIOTH AHRONOTH (YnetNews) - By Dudi Cohen and AP - May 25, 2007The Western powers are unable to act against Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Friday morning, the day after the end of a deadline set by the UN Security Council to halt its nuclear program. On the backdrop of the increase in the United States' military pressure, as nine warships arrived in the Persian Gulf, Ahmadinejad spoke in the city of Golpaygan and said that "the Iranians are living in faith and unity under the leadership of Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and therefore the world powers will not be able to make life difficult for them." - - - -Read Full Report

US warns against travel to Iran ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Matthew Lee - May 31, 2007WASHINGTON - The United States warned U.S. citizens on Thursday against traveling to Iran, accusing Islamic authorities there of a "disturbing pattern" of harassment after the detention of a fourth Iranian-American for alleged espionage."American citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran," the State Department said after confirming that Ali Shakeri, a peace activist from Irvine, Calif., who has been missing in Iran for more than two weeks, is being held at a notorious prison in Tehran along with three other people."Americans of Iranian origin should consider the risk of being targeted by authorities before planning travel to Iran," the department said, noting that "dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran." - - - -Read Full Report

Iran Claims to Uncover Spy Networks Organized By U.S., Western Allies ASSOCIATED PRESS - May 26, 2007TEHRAN, Iran - Iran said Saturday it has uncovered spy rings organized by the United States and its Western allies, claiming on state-run television that the espionage networks were made up of "infiltrating elements from the Iraqi occupiers."The Intelligence Ministry has "succeeded in identifying and striking blows at several spy networks comprised of infiltrating elements from the Iraqi occupiers in western, southwestern and central Iran," said the statement, using shorthand for United States and its allies. - - - -Read Full Report

Republicans: Iran must not have nuclear arms REUTERS - By Steve Holland - June 6, 2007MANCHESTER, New Hampshire - Republican candidates for U.S. president agreed on Tuesday that Iran must not develop atomic weapons even if a tactical nuclear strike is needed to stop it and accused Democrats of being soft on the issue. - - - -Read Full Report

Sderot takes 310 Qassam missiles from Gaza 16 days in a row as cabinet decides to stick to current military tactics
DEBKAFILE - May 30, 2007The sixth Qassam missile Wednesday knocked out the electric current in Sderot. The third demolished an apartment ten minutes after its owners went out. Thousands have fled the daily barrage battering the town of 23,000. The effectiveness of air raids against Hamas operatives running the missile campaign is diminishing. Yet the Olmert government refuses to authorize a substantial ground action which is demanded by the IDF command to root out the menace which is destroying Sderot and traumatizing is citizens.The sixth Qassam missile Wednesday knocked out the electric current in Sderot. The third demolished an apartment ten minutes after its owners went out.
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Sderot: Still Under Fire
Sderot continues to suffer as a woman loses her life to a Qassam missileHONEST REPORTING - Media Critqiues Communique - May 24, 2007The residents of Sderot continue to play "Qassam roulette" as dozens of missiles rain down on the beleagured Israeli town. That there have not been more casualties and deaths has been more down to luck than lack of muderous intent on the part of Palestinian terrorists. Tragically, luck ran out for 32 year-old Shirel Feldman, who was killed, and another man moderately injured Monday evening as a Qassam rocket hit a car at a commercial center.It is clear that Sderot's inhabitants are living in constant fear. What is less clear is the fine line between superficial damage and the potential for a mass casualty event caused by what the media have been only too willing to term "homemade rockets". Click on the image above to see how mere seconds and inches prevented a catastrophe at a Sderot gas station struck by a Qassam.SLANTED COVERAGE Meanwhile, British commentator Stephen Pollard comments on the BBC's coverage:How the BBC's journalists must have missed not being able to distort the situation in Gaza over the past few months. How they must be relieved to have the opportunity once more.Here's how its website reported the IDF strike on Gaza:Israel resumed airstrikes on Gaza on Tuesday after a six-month lull. It followed several rocket attacks on Israel.Several? Several?The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal also comments on an AFP wire service piece picked up by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:'Israel Continues Air Raids Despite New Gaza Truce' That's the headline on the Australian Broadcast Corp.'s Web site, leading the reader to believe that Israel is violating a truce. But it turns out Israel isn't a party to the truce at all:Rival Palestinian factions have clinched a new cease- fire deal to end a week of violence that has left more than 50 dead but Israel is continuing to pound targets across Gaza. The Hamas and Fatah movements agreed to implement a cease-fire from 1200 GMT, the fifth such deal since violence erupted on Sunday. In other words, two different groups of anti-Israel terrorists have agreed to stop attacking each other. Neither one has agreed to stop attacking Israel. If anything, this "truce" would necessitate more Israeli attacks, since it makes it less likely that Jerusalem can count on its enemies to kill each other.Please be on the lookout for further slanted coverage of Israel's attempts to defend the citizens of Sderot from further Qassam missile attacks.COMPARE AND CONTRAST - BLOODSHED IN LEBANON The current bloodshed in Lebanon has made international headlines as the Lebanese Army battles Islamic terrorists in a Palestinian refugee camp. The world's press has been generally sympathetic towards the Lebanese actions. The Associated Press has even gone as far as to use the words "terror" and "terrorists" in one of its reports. This, despite the increasing number of civilian deaths caused by both sides, including seemingly indiscriminate shelling by the Lebanese Army.We cannot help but contrast the coverage with another situation where an army was battling an Islamic terrorist organization in a Palestinian refugee camp. This army, at great cost to itself, sent its soldiers into the camp to avoid civilian casualties and only targeted a small and specific area from where the terrorists were operating. This army was pilloried by the international press and falsely accused of perpetrating a "massacre".While we certainly sympathize with the need to tackle terrorists, we do wonder if there is the faint whiff of double standards at play here?Related: Rocket LaunchTwo rocket are launched from Gaza City Tuesday, May 22, 2007. Seven rockets were fired towards Israel on Tuesday, lightly wounding two people, the army said. Israel responded with four airstrikes, targeting two suspected arms caches and two Hamas bases. Palestinian officials said seven people were wounded.(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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Amid Rockets and Civil War in Gaza, Israelis Sour on Peace Prospects
FORWARD - By Orly Halpern - May 25, 2007Amman, Jordan - Israeli leaders are now scrambling for a strategy to deal with the potential civil war erupting in the Palestinian territories and Hamas rocket attacks on the southern town of Sderot. But even before the latest round of violence, Israeli public opinion was souring on the land-for-peace formula, with Israelis concluding that the Palestinians are not prepared to end the conflict, according to a newly released poll.Fighting between Hamas and Fatah members erupted May 11 for the fourth time this year, killing more than 50 Palestinians. Two days after the internal Palestinian fighting exploded, Hamas began raining Qassam rockets on Sderot, a city with a population of 22,000, and Israel retaliated with air strikes and a renewed campaign targeting Hamas militants. The result so far has been another 40 Palestinians and one Israeli dead - and mounting political outrage in Israel as hundreds of Sderot residents have fled their homes.The violence is likely to further erode Israelis' faith in prospects for peace, which was already at low levels, according to a poll in Yediot Aharonot. Conducted in March but only recently released, the poll found that 58% of Israelis said they now reject the idea of "trading land for peace." Only 28% said they think the goal of the Palestinians is to regain land conquered in 1967; the rest believe that the Palestinians either want "to destroy the State of Israel" or "to destroy the State of Israel and expel most of the Jews."Hamas this week declared its willingness to end the rocket fire as part of a comprehensive truce, encompassing not only Gaza but also the West Bank, where Israel has continued to target militant victims in recent months. Yet it was unclear whether such declarations would stem the mounting calls across much of the Israeli political spectrum for stepped-up military action against Hamas. - - - -
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'Terror cell in capital ready for attacks'
Militant leader claims Israeli residents recruited to carry out bombingsWORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - May 28, 2007JERUSALEM - The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization, has formed a terrorist cell living in the vicinity of Jerusalem consisting of Israeli residents ready to carry out attacks within the Jewish state, according to a top Brigades leader speaking to WND. "We have Israeli Arab brothers who are members of the Brigades who live in Israel and will make in the coming days and weeks shootings and suicide bombings," said the Brigades leader, who spoke on the condition his name be withheld."Even in the case that there will be a cease-fire in Gaza, will keep attacking Israel. They will see the importance of our cells in Jerusalem with more attacks in the near future," the Brigades leader said. - - - -
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Jihadist Groups Fill a Palestinian Power Vacuum
NEW YORK TIMES - By Steven Erlanger And Hassan M. Fattah - May 31, 2007JERUSALEM, May 30 - - - A standoff between the Lebanese Army and Islamists at a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon has focused attention on a jihadist element taking root there as well as a radicalization in the Palestinian areas themselves.With the fragmentation of authority in Gaza, and its isolation, said a Gazan analyst, Taysir Mhaisin, "there is an increase of fundamentalism and the birth of groups believing in violence and practicing violence as a model created by bin Ladenism."Mouin Rabbani, a Jordan-based analyst of Palestinian politics for the International Crisis Group, said, "There is a security vacuum that creates space for all kinds of new grouplets and forces."Palestinian authority, both in the Palestinian areas and in refugee camps in Lebanon and beyond, used to lie in the hands of Fatah, the nationalist faction once led by Yasir Arafat. But after the entry of militant Hamas into politics, its 2006 electoral defeat of Fatah and the battles between them, jihadi freelancers with murky links are filling a vacuum in Gaza and in the camps in Lebanon.Bush administration officials say they are increasingly concerned that Hamas and even more radical groups may be hijacking the Palestinian movement. The officials say they see no operational connection between what is happening in Palestinian camps in Lebanon and the deterioration in Gaza. But they say they do see an ideological link, with hopeless and marginalized young people turning to jihad because they believe that more secular or moderate options have failed them. - - - -
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Hamas warns journalists against dissent
THE SCOTSMAN - By Ben Lynfield - May 29, 2007JERUSALEM: HAMAS'S armed wing yesterday warned Palestinian journalists against criticising its firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel after several opinion columns claimed the rockets harmed the Palestinians themselves. The warning made by Abu Obeida, the head of the Izzedin al-Qassam militia, which fires the rockets, came on the same day that an Israeli computer technician was killed by a rocket fired into the Israeli border town of Sderot. Both Israel and Hamas appear poised for further confrontation despite efforts by moderate Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to get them to agree to a ceasefire.Abu Obeida said in a statement carried by Hamas's Palestine Information Centre: "The time has come for the strange voices and the yellow media to stop stabbing the resistance in the back and go back to the right way. If not, history and the people will not have mercy on any who collude with the enemy against their religion, people and nation." Yesterday, the Al-Ayyam newspaper, which is close to Mr Abbas, ran a column by Riyadh Malki, the director of the Panorama think-tank in Ramallah, arguing that the rockets brought harm to Gazans. - - - -
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British Acedemia Attacks Israel
British Professors Approve Israel Boycott FORWARD - By Rebecca Spence - June 1, 2007Britain's largest teachers union voted this week to press forward with a proposal to boycott Israeli academic institutions, setting the stage for a bitter struggle to reverse the decision.The University and College Union, representing more than 120,000 college-level educators, voted May 30 to pass a motion imploring its branches to circulate and discuss a Palestinian call for boycott of Israeli academics and universities. - - -Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School professor and prominent pro-Israel advocate, said that to protest the vote he will attempt to mobilize 1,000 American university professors of diverse backgrounds to join him in declaring themselves honorary Israeli professors. - - -Another recent effort to exert political pressure on the Jewish state came in April, when Britain's 40,000- member National Union of Journalists adopted a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. - - - - Read Full Report

Shame On The Left And Its Vicious Hatred Of Israel DAILY EXPRESS [LONDON] - By Leo McKinstry - June 1, 2007ANTI-RACISM is supposed to be one of the guiding principles of our society, preventing discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin or nationality. Yet it is a bizarre paradox of modern Britain that there is now a climate of increasing hostility towards Jews, particularly in those Left-wing intellectual circles which otherwise make a fetish of their concern for racial sensitivities. - - -Thanks to the Left's neurotic hatred of Israel, we now have the extraordinary sight of self-styled liberal campaigners launching McCarthyite witch-hunts against anyone deemed to have Israeli connections, as in this week's debate at the University and College Union's annual conference at Bournemouth calling for a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. - - -What is particularly disturbing is the way opposition to the Jewish state descends into vicious antagonism against Jews themselves, as shown by this sickening recent outburst from writer Pamela Hardyment, a member of the National Union of Journalists, which in April voted to boycott Israeli goods.Explaining her support for the NUJ's stance, Ms Hardyment described Israel as "a wonderful Nazi-like killing machine backed by the world's richest Jews".Then, like some lunatic from the far-Right, she referred to the "so-called Holocaust" before concluding: "Shame on all Jews, may your lives be cursed." - - - -Read Full Report

URGENT ACTION: DEMAND IMMEDIATE REFERENDUM TO RESCIND BRITISH ACADEMIC BOYCOTT OF ISRAELOnce again Israel is the target of an unjust and unrelenting campaign to de-legitimize her and her citizens. This time Britain's largest academic union, the University and College Union (UCU), representing teachers in universities and institutions of Higher Education throughout the United Kingdom, voted yesterday to boycott Israeli academic institutions.The UCU stopped short of calling for an all-out boycott, but instead passed a motion to circulate Palestinian calls for an academic boycott of Israel to its branches "for information and discussion."However, during the debate, UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt asserted, "I do not believe a boycott is supported by the majority of UCU members, nor do I believe that members see it is a priority for the union."Please join us in urging General Secretary Hunt to take whatever steps are necessary with her colleagues to rescind this unjust, one-sided and ultimately antisemitic initiative singling out Israeli academics and institutions.The academic boycott is the latest of several shameful efforts among British unions to deligitimize Israel. Last month the National Union of Journalists passed a motion to boycott Israeli goods. And recently a group of British doctors and architects also called for boycotts within their fields of work.We must raise our voices in effective protest. We will not remain silent! Please act now.Forward this message to your family, friends, and colleagues ---Sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international organization with 400,000 members, promoting tolerance and combating antisemitism worldwide

Golan Heights residents 'ready for resistance'
Syrian official warns of attacks if Israel won't vacate strategic territoryWORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - June 5, 2007TEL AVIV - If the Jewish state doesn't vacate the Golan Heights in the near future, Golan residents living under Israeli administration will launch "resistance operations" aimed at prompting an Israeli retreat from the territory, an official from Syrian President Bashar Assad's Baath party told WND in an exclusive interview yesterday. "Syria is ready to talk with Israel but only if negotiations lead to a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. There may be peace; there may be war. If there is no movement, Syrian resistance will be launched and not from the government but from the people of the Golan," said the Baath party official, who spoke on condition his name be withheld. "We [Syria] have weapons and soldiers on the border with Israel, but let's face it, it's difficult to amass tanks or launch any invasion because the U.N. mans the border. But Syrian residents of the Golan are ready to launch resistance," the official claimed. The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory looking down on Israeli and Syrian population centers captured by Israel after Damascus twice used the territory to attack the Jewish state. There are U.N. posts at international buffer areas between the Israeli and Syrian sides of the territory.The Heights has a population of about 35,000 - approximately 18,000 Jewish residents and 17,000 Arabs, mostly Druze. The Arab residents retain their Syrian citizenship but under Israeli law can also sue for Israeli citizenship. The Syrian representative's statements come amid a flurry of reports this week in the Israeli media - first reported three weeks ago by WND (link:) - that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is exploring the possibility of talks with Syria aimed at an Israeli retreat from the Golan. - - - -
See Golan Heights in the Bible
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Isaiah 17:1 - The oracle concerning Damascus
Olmert 'seriously exploring' handing territory to Syria Prime minister asked 3rd parties to approach terror-supporting Damascus regime WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - June 1, 2007 TEL AVIV - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is "very seriously" exploring the possibility of resuming talks with Syria aimed at giving up the Golan Heights, the Israeli media reported yesterday, quoting top diplomatic sources. The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory looking down on Israeli and Syrian population centers twice used by Damascus to launch ground invasions into the Jewish state. According to Israel's Haaretz daily, Olmert tapped third parties to approach Syria to feel out whether Damascus is seriously interested in negotiations.Syria, which signed a military alliance with Iran, openly hosts Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders. The U.S. accuses Syria of fueling and aiding the insurgency in Iraq. Israel says Syria has been allowing large quantities of weapons to be transported from its borders to the Lebanese-based Hezbollah militia, which last summer engaged in a war with the Jewish state. Syria has been widely blamed for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. - - - -Read Full Report

US secretary of state cautions Israel against seeking peace talks with Syria instead of focusing on the Palestinian track DEBKAFILE / THE WASHINGTON POST - May 30, 2007 Condoleezza Rice says there is no substitute for creating a Palestinian state. Her efforts to create a political horizon to this end have been stalled at every hand, because many observers say her goal is unrealistic at this time. She is discussing the stalled peace process with Group of Eight foreign ministers in Berlin Wednesday, as well as the dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.DEBKAfile reports: Washington has bolstered Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, but he is a fading force on the Palestinian scene and has little clout to follow through on peace talks with Israel. After he opted for a power-sharing deal between his Fatah and Hamas in Mecca in January, the two Palestinian groups embarked on a factional war and Hamas launched a missile offensive against Israel. - - - -Read Full Report

Report: U.S. OKs talks with Syria Gives green light to Israel to negotiate Golan Heights withdrawal WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - May 22, 2007JERUSALEM - The U.S. has given Prime Minister Ehud Olmert the green light to negotiate with Syria regarding an Israeli retreat from the Golan Heights, according to diplomatic sources quoted today by Israel's Haaretz daily newspaper. The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory looking down on Israeli and Syrian population centers twice used by Damascus to launch ground invasions into the Jewish state. According to Haaretz, the Bush administration granted Israel permission to discuss vacating the Golan, but Washington reportedly stipulated Olmert must not agree to any negotiations, even indirectly, regarding a change in the U.S. position toward Syria. - - - -Read Full Report

With Islamic Militancy Rising, Syria's Baath Regime Finds Religion FORWARD - By Marc Perelman - May 25, 2007 Damascus - While Israel and America rank high on the list of Syria's enemies, it is the rising tide of militant Islam within the country that ultimately might pose the greatest challenge to the staunchly secular, Baathist regime of President Bashar al-Assad.For decades, the Assad family and other members of the Alawite minority - a distant offshoot of Shiite Islam - have ruled over the 80% Sunni majority, often by enforcing a rigid secularism. But in response to a religious revival and tensions over the growing role of Islam in Syrian society, the Baath party has begun to embrace religious discourse and to encourage religious practice, a strategy adopted in Iraq by fellow Baathist Saddam Hussein during his final years in power.While Syria continues to ban religious political parties and to crack down on anti-government Islamist terrorist networks, the authorities have also over the past decade built mosques, brought in conservative imams and introduced religion into public discourse. Now the regime is trying to steer this religious revival toward a relatively moderate version of Islam.To Syrian secularists, this approach carries the risk of opening a Pandora's Box that could destabilize the regime by reopening old sectarian wounds. - - - -Read Full Report

Showdown in Hevron Tuesday Over Jewish Future in Land of Israel
ARUTZ SHEVA - By Ezra HaLevi - June 5, 2007Peace Now will hold a protest against the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria in the heart of Hevron's Jewish neighborhood Tuesday. Counter- protesters say they will be there too. The left-wing anti-settlement group petitioned the Supreme Court to force police and IDF officials to allow the protest and provide security for it after their application was rejected. "The settlements in Hevron are a symbol of the occupation in its ugliest manifestation," reads Peace Now's promotional material regarding the protest. "About 600 [sic - about 8,000 Jews live in the various Jewish neighborhoods of Hevron-Kiryat Arba - ed.] violent settlers living in the heart of the city strike a painful blow upon the lives of the about 35,000 Palestinian residents, who suffer each day from their schemes and military restrictions. "We, the Israeli public, are the ones that pay the price for the dangerous craziness of the settlers --- we send our soldiers to protect them and we absorb the resulting hatred and extremism that they sow." The posters go on to say that settlements signify the end of Zionism and invite protesters to demand the establishment of a Palestinian state. - - - -
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US forces transfer Iraqi Kurdistan's security responsibility to local peshmerga to sidestep threatened Turkish invasion
DEBKAFILE - June 3, 2007Defense Secretary Robert Gates Sunday cautioned Turkey against sending troops into northern Iraq.The heavy Turkish military buildup on the border of Iraqi Kurdistan last week prompted the autonomous region's president, Massoud Barzani, to send a personal emissary, Safin Dizai, to Ankara with an urgent message.Turkish tanks would not be allowed to cross into northern Iraq, he said. The Kurdish army known as peshmerga would repel them. "The people of Kurdistan," said the messenger, "would not stand by as spectators if Turkish tanks and panzers entered Kirkuk." And finally, "Turkey also knows that a military incursion is out of the question. The world will not allow this. The US is here and does not want it."The Kurdish leader had his answer Thursday, May 31, when Turkish chief of staff Gen. Yasar Büyükanıt declared his army was ready for incursion into northern Iraq. "There is not only the PKK in northern Iraq," he said. "There is Massoud Barzani as well" This incursion unheeding of strains with Washington would have two objectives, according to DEBKAfile's military sources: To prevent the rise of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq and the fall of the oil town of Kirkuk into Kurdish hands. "Turkey cannot afford an independent Kurdish state headed by Barzani on its southern border," said Gen. Büyükanıt. Our sources add that Ankara has dramatically broadened its objectives since early May, when the Turks talked about a limited strike against separatist PKK hideouts in the Kandil mountains of N. Iraq. At the same time, as DEBKA-Net-Weekly 294 revealed on March 23, 80,000 Turkish troops were concentrated already then at Sirank, opposite the meeting point of the Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian borders. - - - -Aslo: Turkish military buildup on Iraq border fuels unease in Washington DEBKAFILE - May 30, 2007The consignment of 20 tanks from an army barracks near the Syrian border in southeast Turkey to the Iraqi border has sparked speculation about an imminent Turkish incursion against Kurdish PKK rebel bases in northern Iraq. Last week, Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan said he was of one mind with the army over possible military action despite US concerns.Article LinkTurkey at the boiling point INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE - By James F. Hoge Jr., Tribune Media Services - May 22, 2007ISTANBUL: Two simmering problems threaten to boil over in Turkey this summer with greater international consequences than ever before.First is the relationship between the Islamic religion and the state that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded in 1923 and whose secular nature the army has protected ever since. Second is the raids against Turkish troops by terrorists from Turkey's minority Kurdish population who are now camped across the border in Iraq.Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ignited the current political controversy by signaling his desire to succeed the retiring secularist, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, in the presidency. Faced with stiff resistance to his candidacy, Erdogan tried to deliver the post to his close associate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, himself a devout Islamic believer.That prospect aroused fears that the loss of checks and balances could lead to an Islamization of the state, if not by the current Justice and Development Party (AKP) leadership then by more fervent successors. The army, responsible for four coups in the last five decades, warned against the selection. - - - -Read Full Report
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In North Iraq, Sunni Arabs Drive Out Kurds
NEW YORK TIMES - By Edward Wong - June 1, 2007MOSUL, Iraq - - - While the American military is trying to tamp down the vicious fighting between rival Arab sects in Baghdad, conflict between Arabs and Kurds is intensifying here, adding another dimension to Iraq's civil war. Sunni Arab militants, reinforced by insurgents fleeing the new security plan in Baghdad, are trying to rid Mosul of its Kurdish population through violence and intimidation, Kurdish officials said.Mosul, Iraq's third largest city, with a population of 1.8 million, straddles the Tigris River on a grassy, windswept plain in the country's north. It was recently estimated to be about a quarter Kurdish, but Sunni Arabs have already driven out at least 70,000 Kurds and virtually erased the Kurdish presence from the city's western half, said Khasro Goran, the deputy governor of surrounding Nineveh Province and a Kurd.The militants "view this as a Sunni-dominated town, and they view the Kurds as encroaching on Mosul," said Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of the Fourth Brigade, First Cavalry Division, which is deployed in Nineveh. Some Kurdish and Christian enclaves remain on the east side, though their numbers are dwindling. Kurdish officials say the flight has accelerated in recent months, contributing to the wider ethnic and religious partitioning that is taking place all over Iraq.Nineveh is Iraq's most diverse province, with a dizzying array of ethnic and religious groups woven into an area about the size of Maryland. For centuries, Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Turkmens, Yezidis and Shabaks lived side by side in these verdant hills, going to the same schools, bartering in the same markets, even intermarrying on occasion. But what took generations to build is starting to unravel in the shadow of the Sunni Arab insurgency, which is tapping into several wells of ethnic resentment. - - - -
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Iraq: Troop Cuts and Cease Fire Talks
White House Is Said to Debate '08 Cut in Iraq Troops by 50% NEW YORK TIMES - By David E. Sanger and David S. Cloud - May 26, 2007 WASHINGTON, May 25 - The Bush administration is developing what are described as concepts for reducing American combat forces in Iraq by as much as half next year, according to senior administration officials in the midst of the internal debate. It is the first indication that growing political pressure is forcing the White House to turn its attention to what happens after the current troop increase runs its course.The concepts call for a reduction in forces that could lower troop levels by the midst of the 2008 presidential election to roughly 100,000, from about 146,000, the latest available figure, which the military reported on May 1. They would also greatly scale back the mission that President Bush set for the American military when he ordered it in January to win back control of Baghdad and Anbar Province. - - - -Read Full Report

Terrorists: Ceasefire talk means U.S. defeat in Iraq Militant leaders say Washington's attempt to make deal legitimizes violent 'resistance' WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - May 31, 2007TEL AVIV - Washington's announcement of talks with Iraqi militants about a cease-fire arrangement is a "big victory" for the insurgency and demonstrates the U.S. now recognizes the legitimacy of so-called terror groups, Palestinian terrorist leaders told WND.In a briefing with reporters earlier today, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said U.S. commanders at all levels are being empowered to reach out for talks with militants, tribes, religious leaders and others, including insurgents and sectarian rivals. "We are talking about cease-fires, and maybe signing some things that say they won't conduct operations against the government of Iraq or against coalition forces," Odierno told reporters in a video conference from Baghdad. Reacting to Odierno's announcement, Muhammad Abdel-El, spokesman and a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terror group, called truce talks with insurgents "a big victory for the resistance." - - - -Read Full Report

Desperate Iraqi Refugees Turn to Sex Trade in Syria
NEW YORK TIMES - By Katherine Zoepf- May 29, 2007MARABA, Syria - - - For anyone living in Damascus these days, the fact that some Iraqi refugees are selling sex or working in sex clubs is difficult to ignore. Even in central Damascus, men freely talk of being approached by pimps trawling for customers outside juice shops and shawarma sandwich stalls, and of women walking up to passing men, an act unthinkable in Arab culture, and asking in Iraqi- accented Arabic if the men would like to "have a cup of tea."By day the road that leads from Damascus to the historic convent at Saidnaya is often choked with Christian and Muslim pilgrims hoping for one of the miracles attributed to a portrait of the Virgin Mary at the convent. But as any Damascene taxi driver can tell you, the Maraba section of this fabled pilgrim road is fast becoming better known for its brisk trade in Iraqi prostitutes. Many of these women and girls, including some barely in their teens, are recent refugees. Some are tricked or forced into prostitution, but most say they have no other means of supporting their families. As a group they represent one of the most visible symptoms of an Iraqi refugee crisis that has exploded in Syria in recent months. According to the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, about 1.2 million Iraqi refugees now live in Syria; the Syrian government puts the figure even higher. Given the deteriorating economic situation of those refugees, a United Nations report found last year, many girls and women in "severe need" turn to prostitution, in secret or even with the knowledge or involvement of family members. In many cases, the report added, "the head of the family brings clients to the house." Aid workers say thousands of Iraqi women work as prostitutes in Syria, and point out that as violence in Iraq has increased, the refugee population has come to include more female-headed households and unaccompanied women. - - - -
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The Saddam-al Qaida connection & Exportation of jihad
Naming names: The Saddam-al Qaida connection WORLDNETDAILY - June 6, 2007WASHINGTON - It has been denied, downplayed, overlooked, forgotten, disregarded and omitted from the public record. But a thorough review of open-source material demonstrates conclusive and widespread cooperation between former members of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime and terrorists from the Iraqi al-Qaida network. Dozens of former Saddam Hussein loyalists captured by U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq were found to be working with al-Qaida or linked to their operations.Here are some notable players in that alliance: - - - - Read Full Report

Al-Qaeda chief urges Iraqis to export jihad THE SUNDAY TIMES of LONDON - By Uzi Mahnaimi - May 27, 2007THE deputy leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has urged supporters in Iraq to extend their "holy war" to other Middle Eastern countries. In a letter sent to the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq in the past few weeks, Zawahiri claims that it is defeating US forces and urges followers to expand their campaign of terror. He conjures a vision of an Islamic state comprising Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, where Al-Qaeda has already gained its first footholds. The goal of an Islamic "greater Syria", first outlined by Zawahiri two years ago, is detailed in the letter amid growing concern about the activities of new groups under Al-Qaeda's influence in the countries concerned. - - - -Read Full Report

"Powder Keg": Russia & The US Missle Shield
Europe should not become "powder keg" - Putin INTERFAX - May 29, 2007MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has cautioned against turning Europe into a "powder keg", referring to Washington's plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Europe. "We consider it harmful and dangerous to turn Europe into a "powder keg" and to fill it with new kinds of weapons," Putin told a news conference after talks with the Portuguese prime minister in Moscow. "It creates new unneeded risks for the entire system of international and European relations," he said.Read Full Report

Russia tests new rocket to beat missile defenses REUTERS - By Michael Stott - May 29, 2007MOSCOW - Russia successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday featuring multiple warheads designed to overcome missile defense systems such as the planned U.S. shield in Europe.At the same time, President Vladimir Putin stepped up his attacks on the missile shield, saying its deployment in Europe would turn the continent into "a powder keg".Russian military experts said the new missile was part of the "highly effective response" promised earlier this year by President Vladimir Putin to the shield, which is fiercely opposed by Moscow as a threat to its security. - - - -Read Full Report

Putin issues sharp warning to US, vows to counter 'imperialism' AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - May 31, 2007MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin issued an acerbic warning Thursday to the United States, saying the recent test of a new Russian missile was a direct response to US actions and condemning "imperialism" in world affairs."Our American partners have quit the ABM Treaty," Putin told reporters after meeting his Greek counterpart, referring to the landmark 1972 US-Soviet treaty limiting the missile defenses of the Cold War superpower foes."We warned them then that we would come out with a response to maintain the strategic balance in the world. Yesterday we conducted a test of a new strategic ballistic missile with multiple warheads, and of a new cruise missile, and will continue to improve our resources." - - - "We are not the initiators of this new round of the arms race," Putin said. - - - -Read Full Report

Administration Rebukes Putin on His Policies NEW YORK TIMES - By Thom Shanker - June 1, 2007WASHINGTON, May 31 - A top Russia expert at the State Department issued an unusually sharp public criticism on Thursday of Moscow's behavior under President Vladimir V. Putin, describing the Kremlin as bullying its neighbors while silencing political opponents and suppressing individual rights at home. - - -In the speech, Mr. Kramer said that recent Kremlin actions "reflect negative trends on human rights and democracy inside Russia itself," and that "suppression of genuine opposition, abridgement of the right to protest, constriction of civil society and the decline of media freedom are all serious setbacks." - - - -Read Full Report

Missile shield ups chance of atomic conflict: Putin REUTERS - June 2, 2007BERLIN - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday U.S. plans to install a missile defense system in Europe increased the chances of a nuclear conflict.Moscow is alarmed by U.S. plans to deploy parts of a global missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic and last week it tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile it said could ensure the country's security for the next 40 years."The missile shield only creates the theoretical illusion that one is protected, but the possibility that a nuclear conflict is unleashed is actually greater," Putin told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine in an interview to be published on Sunday. - - -Read Full Report

Bush Opens Europe Trip on Jarring Note ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Terence Hunt - June 4, 2007PRAGUE, Czech Republic - President Bush's European trip was jarred as it began Monday by deteriorating relations with Russia and threatening words from President Vladimir Putin.Bush and Putin will see each other at the annual summit of industrialized nations, beginning Wednesday at the Baltic Sea resort city of Heiligendamm, Germany. In a diplomatic poke in the eye at Putin, Bush bracketed the summit with stops in the Czech Republic and Poland - the two countries where the United States wants to build a missile defense system for Europe.Already complaining of being encircled by NATO's expansion, Putin said putting missile defenses on Russia's doorstep would ignite a new arms race. He threatened to retarget Russia's missiles toward Europe.Bush says the anti-missile program is intended to protect Europe from states like Iran and North Korea, but Putin said neither country possesses the rockets the American system is intended to shoot down. - - - - Read Full Report

Bush Defends Missile Defense Shield ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Jennifer Loven - June 5, 2007PRAGUE, Czech Republic - President Bush and the Czech Republic's leaders on Tuesday defended plans to base part of a U.S. missile shield here despite fierce opposition from Russia."The people of the Czech Republic don't have to choose between being a friend of the United States or a friend with Russia," Bush said in his stop at this former Soviet satellite. "You can be both. We don't believe in a zero-sum world." - - - -Read Full Report

Russian Cyber-Attack on Estonia
Russia accused of unleashing cyberwar to disable Estonia THE GUARDIAN - Ian Traynor in Brussels - May 17, 2007A three-week wave of massive cyber-attacks on the small Baltic country of Estonia, the first known incidence of such an assault on a state, is causing alarm across the western alliance, with Nato urgently examining the offensive and its implications.While Russia and Estonia are embroiled in their worst dispute since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a row that erupted at the end of last month over the Estonians' removal of the Bronze Soldier Soviet war memorial in central Tallinn, the country has been subjected to a barrage of cyber warfare, disabling the websites of government ministries, political parties, newspapers, banks, and companies.Nato has dispatched some of its top cyber-terrorism experts to Tallinn to investigate and to help the Estonians beef up their electronic defences. - - -While planning to raise the issue with the Russian authorities, EU and Nato officials have been careful not to accuse the Russians directly.If it were established that Russia is behind the attacks, it would be the first known case of one state targeting another by cyber-warfare. - - - -Read Full Report

Attack of the cyber terrorists THE DAILY MAIL [LONDON] - By Michael Hanlon - May 24, 2007When the ATM system goes down, the government steps in. A task force is appointed. There is a rush on hard cash that leads to a shortage of notes and coins.Soon, it is clear that the United Kingdom (and much of Europe) has been subjected to a sustained and effective cyber-terrorist attack. Disaster is narrowly avoided when a series of sophisticated viruses disrupt the workings of the National Air Traffic Control System. - - -Such a scenario, say some experts, is not only possible but likely in the near future. Look, for example, at what happened to Estonia last week. Ever since the government of the Baltic state decided (rather tactlessly it must be said) to remove a war memorial to the Red Army from a square in the capital, Tallinn, Russian outrage has ensued. - - - - Read Full Report

RelatedEU-Russian talks end in acrimony BBC NEWS - May 18, 2007The leaders of the European Union and Russia have traded sharp criticism over human rights, at a summit that exposed the divisions between the two sides. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed alarm at the detention of activists intending to protest against the Russian government. Vladimir Putin retorted that Estonia's ethnic Russians were being persecuted. - - -If the atmosphere at the post-summit news conference was anything to go by, the relationship has reached a new low, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield- Hayes in Moscow. - - - -Read Full Report

Kindergarteners choose 'death for the sake of Allah'
'Armed' boys in camouflage, ski masks, declare devotion to jihadWORLDNETDAILY - June 1, 2007In a kindergarten graduation ceremony featured yesterday on Palestinian television, boys outfitted with toy machine guns, camouflage fatigues and ski masks marched to a military beat and declared their "most lofty aspiration" to be "death for the sake of Allah." Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV reported the ceremony of kindergarteners of the Islamic Association in Gaza.The video, with translation, was made available by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, in Washington, D.C. - - - -SEE LINK FOR VIDEO
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UK: Muhammad is No 2 in boy's names
THE TIMES of LONDON - By Helen Nugent and Nadia Menuhin - June 6, 2007Muhammad is now second only to Jack as the most popular name for baby boys in Britain and is likely to rise to No 1 by next year, a study by The Times has found. The name, if all 14 different spellings are included, was shared by 5,991 newborn boys last year, beating Thomas into third place, followed by Joshua and Oliver. Scholars said that the name's rise up the league table was driven partly by the growing number of young Muslims having families, coupled with the desire to name their child in honour of the Prophet. - - - -
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A Growing Demand for the Rare American Imam
NEW YORK TIMES - By Neil MacFarquhar - June 1, 2007MISSION VIEJO, Calif. - Sheik Yassir Fazaga regularly uses a standard American calendar to provide inspiration for his weekly Friday sermon. Around Valentine's Day this year, he talked about how the Koran endorses romantic love within certain ethical parameters. (As opposed to say, clerics in Saudi Arabia, who denounce the banned saint's day as a Satanic ritual.) On World AIDS Day, he criticized Muslims for making moral judgments about the disease rather than helping the afflicted, and on International Women's Day he focused on domestic abuse. "My main objective is to make Islam relevant," said Sheik Fazaga, 34, who went to high school in Orange County, which includes Mission Viejo, and brings a certain American flair to his role as imam in the mosque here. Prayer leaders, or imams, in the United States have long arrived from overseas, forced to negotiate a foreign culture along with their congregation. Older immigrants usually overlook the fact that it is an uneasy fit, particularly since imported sheiks rarely speak English. They welcome a flavor of home. But as the first generation of American-born Muslims begins graduating from college in significant numbers, with a swelling tide behind them, some congregations are beginning to seek native imams who can talk about religious and social issues that seem relevant to young people, like dating and drugs. On an even more practical level, they want an imam who can advise them on day-to-day American matters like how to set up a 401(k) plan to funnel the charitable donations known as zakat, which Islam mandates. - - - -
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US: Feds name CAIR in plot to fund Hamas
Prominent U.S. Islamic group designated 'unindicted co-conspirator'WORLDNETDAILY - June 4, 2007The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which brands itself as a mainstream promoter of civil rights, has been named with two other prominent U.S. Islamic groups as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in a plot to fund the terrorist group Hamas. Federal prosecutors also cited the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust as participants in a plot with five officials of the defunct Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, who go on trial July 16 in Dallas, the New York Sun reported. CAIR is a spinoff of the defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, launched by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and former university professor Sami al- Arian, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Several CAIR staffers have been convicted on terrorism- related charges, and CAIR founder Omar Ahmad allegedly told a group of Muslims they are in America not to assimilate but to help assert Islam's rule over the country. - - - -
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Report Confirms Terror Dry Run
OLIVE TREE MINISTRIES - By Jan Markell - May 30, 2007I wonder if those who have ridiculed Annie Jacobsen for three years for "hysteria" will be quiet now? She is the author of the book, "Terror in the Skies" which documents 13 Syrian men acting suspiciously on Northwest Flight 327 in 2004.She was derided for "racism," "sensationalism," and more. Thankfully, the case has been opened again and few are laughing at her now. - - -A newly released report backs eyewitness accounts of suspicious behavior by the 13 Syrians on the flight and also reveals several missteps by government officials including failure to file an incident report until a month after the matter became public, reports The Washington Times.Here's why this should have been taken seriously and not covered up until now. The Syrians were traveling on expired Visas. A report also says that a background check in the FBI's National Crime Information Center database, which was performed June 18, 2004, produced "positive hits" for past criminal records of suspicious behavior for eight of the twelve men who were supposedly traveling in the U.S. as a musical group.The more the story unfolds, the more precarious it gets. An air marshal who told The Washington Times that he has been involved personally in terror probes that were ignored by federal security managers calls such behavior typical. The marshal said, "On the flight the men behaved in a suspicious manner that aroused the concern of flight attendants, passengers, air marshals, and pilots. The suspicious men walked the aisle, appearing to count passengers, and spent excessive time in lavatories. They hand signaled one another. One man made a slashing motion across his throat, appearing to say 'No.' " - - - -Related4 Charged in JFK Airport Terror Plot ASSOCIATED PRESS - By ADAM GOLDMAN - June 2, 2007 NEW YORK - Three people were arrested and another was being sought Saturday for allegedly plotting to blow up a fuel line that feeds John F. Kennedy International Airport and runs through residential neighborhoods, authorities said. - - -At a news conference, U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf called it "one of the most chilling plots imaginable." "The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable," she said. Authorities arrested Russell Defreitas, a U.S. citizen native to Guyana and former JFK employee. He was in custody in Brooklyn and was expected to be arraigned Saturday afternoon. Two other men, Abdul Kadir of Guyana and Kareem Ibrahim of Trinidad, are in custody in Trinidad. A fourth man, Abdel Nur of Guyana, was still being sought. - - - An official said the plotters had conducted surveillance on giant jet fuel tanks at JFK and the pipeline. They had taken surveillance video of the targets and took it to Trinidad to review the tape, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the arrests were not yet announced. - - - -Read Full Report
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"Unusual Situation": Tropical Cyclone Gonu Weakening, Closing In On Oman - By Meteorologist Lisa Wieser - June 5, 2007As of Tuesday morning, EDT, powerful Tropical Cyclone Gonu was centered near 21.5 north and 61.6 east; roughly 265 miles to the southeast of Muscat, Oman. Winds were sustained above 120 mph and movement was to the northwest at about 8 mph. Although the storm has weakened a bit compared to its category 5 strength from yesterday, it is still quite a powerful storm, and it is still looking like its headed for eastern Oman. The general consensus is that the storm will brush by the east coast of Oman and curve to the north, towards southeastern Iran. There is, however, the chance that Gonu could take a northwesterly track towards the UAE and into the Persian Gulf. Stay tuned to for more updates on this unusual situation.
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