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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chad Rebels -Forces Progressistes pour l'Independence et la Renaissance-Operate from Cameroon

Peterkins Manyong
30 January 2009

-Following the inability of rebels based in Chad to oust President Idris Deby, a new resistance movement will reportedly operate from Cameroon, The Post has learnt.

The new rebel force, claiming to be named the "Forces Progressistes pour l'Independence et la Renaissance" roughly translated as "Progressive Force for Independence and Rebirth."

It has been launched by the "Forum for Exiled Chadians in Central Africa" better known by its French acronym as FECAT.

The politico-military movement, as it is described, has its headquarters in Douala and will reportedly launch attacks on the Chadian army from Southern Chad.

A Chadian citizen, who spoke to The Post in confidence, wondered how a serious movement which intends to carry out operations in the south of the country could succeed pitching tents thousands of kilometres away. He said he was sure that the aim of the movement was to force the government of President Deby to the negotiating table.

Already, seven of the more than a dozen rebels fighting the Chadian government formed a coalition a week ago and is in the process of absorbing many more.

Our informant attributed the failure so far of the Chadian rebel forces to greed and vaulting ambition of their leaders, each of whom is determined to be the next president.

He regretted that the press statement of the rebels would so scare the Chadian Government as to cause the tightening of security around the borders, making it difficult for Chadian citizens to return to their fatherland.

The Rest @ African News Analysis

Cyrpuse Halts Iranina Arms Shipment to Syria

Cyprus stops Iranian arms shipment bound for Syria

01/31/2009: Haaretz and Reuters report that the Cyprus-flagged "Monchegorsk" en route from Iran carrying arms to Syria, which likely

... was the same ship the US navy detained and released on Tuesday,.....

was halted by Cypriot authorities after Israeli and US officials requested that the Cypriot government halt the ship, according to a confidential European Union diplomatic source.

Cypriot authorities had demanded that the ship dock in Limassol for inspection, and once docked, from the ship were unloaded artillery rounds and rockets, among other weapons.

January 31, 2009 at 08:00 AM

The Rest @ Secutiy Law Brief

Friday, January 30, 2009

Salafi Group in the US Has Weekly Conference Calls with Islamists

The Somaliland government arrested 11 US residents who were smuggling Anti-Aircraft Missiles into Hargeisa. According to source from from Somaliland government these 11 people have allegedly received training from Al-Shabaab in the use of these weapons. The Somaliland government has information that indicates these weapons were originated from Eritrea and transported to Galgudud region in Somalia, where the accused received training from Al-Shabaab.

Somaliland American Council has previously called on Somaliland-Americans on December 12, 2008 to help United States authorities by reporting any suspecious information about these people.

  • There are reports that indicate that Somali-Americans who practice conservative Islam has weekly conference calls presumably for educational purpose;
  • Al-Shabaab is invited as guest-speakers from Somalia,
  • During these conference calls Al-Shabaab uses the opportunity for recruiting by making appeals to the faith and patriotic emotions of the Somali-youth to fight Ethiopia and its friends in the Horn of Africa
  • Somaliland is considered a friend of Ethiopia and the West.

On October 29, 2008; there have been three simultaneous car-suicide attacks on Somaliland; at the Presidential Palace, at the UNDP building, and the Ethiopian Embassy. Thirty innocent people have lost their lives.

  • The six men who committed the terrorist attacks on Oct 29 were US residents who left the United States and joined Al-Shabaab to attack Somaliland.
  • In this report today another 11 US residents have been arrested by the Somaliland government alleggedly for smuggling Anti-Aircraft Missiles into Hargeisa.

Somaliland American Council (SAC) is concerned about the fact that Al-Shabaab is waging consistent attacks on Somaliland; which are becoming more dangerous and more lethal attacks, the fact that US residents or Somali-American are carrying out these attacks, and Somaliland is distracted by the upcoming Presidential elections on 3/29/09.

SAC is calling on all Somaliland-Americans to help Somaliland by fighting Al-Shabaab in the United States

We must form close relationships with the US authorities to deny Al-Shabaab an opportunity to attack United States and Somaliland.

We believe today it is Somaliland and tomorrow it will be the United States; unless we stop them now, we must do this as US citizens to protect the United States and help stop these attacks on Somaliland.

The Rest @ Somaliwyn

BELMOKHTAR MOKHTAR connected to Robert Fowler Disappearence?

The United Nations may be exploring the possiblity That the kidnaping of UN Diplomat Robert Flower and Luis Guay may have a BELMOKHTAR MOKHTAR connection.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Somalia 2009 at a Cross Roads

Somalia, today you must choose

Life or death; to rule yourself or to be ruled.

What will you choose, for today, for tomorrow?

Your culture is Muslim, your spirit is cowboy;

The cowboy in you has been drunk with power

The Muslim in you tells you that the way to peace is through discipline,

but is that really Allah's way?

Remember, this was the teaching of Hitler and the Nazis.

One Road leads to the Caliphate;

will the kalifa respect you, love you, or will it sacrifice you

like the West, Like Italy, Like the Arabs?

Will the foreign fighters really go home. or will they train your sons

to fight in the wars of other lands, in Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, in Uganda?

Will your sons want to stay and work the Land and the business of Somalia,

Or will their minds be sold into the service of the Caliphate, to fight in foreign lands

leaving your daughters unprotected, your elders vulnerable.

The Other path leads to the rebuilding of Somalia.

A new way for clans to fight with honor

a new place for the Kalashnikov of your youth

to fight, to win, to live, and to come home to your daughters.

O Somalia you must choose to have a voice to Allah, or to have the discipline of man

Does Allah want the government to be your battlefield, or your water wells?

Is it the will of Allah to grow your food and your animals to feed your children,

or the ravenous mouths of foreign fighters?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Libya Exploring Nationalization of Foreign Oil Firms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Wednesday his country and other oil exporters were looking into nationalizing foreign firms due to low oil prices and suggested Tripoli might not stick to OPEC production quotas.
Speaking via a satellite link from Libya to students at Georgetown University in Washington, he called the current price of oil "unbearable."

Oil was around $44 a barrel on Wednesday, less than a third of the price in July of $147.
"We would not adhere to OPEC's regulations because our livelihood depends on oil," Gaddafi said, without providing any details of how Libya might not stick to the oil producing organization's quotas.

Last month, Libya told oil firms to cut output by 270,000 barrels per day from January 1, more than the curb it needs to make under an OPEC deal to pump less.

Gaddafi, who decides Libya's oil policy, referred to recent Libyan newspaper reports over nationalization because of the dipping oil prices.

The reports, including in the main state paper widely seen as the mouthpiece of Gaddafi, said this week the Basic People Congresses, Libya's top executive and legislative bodies, should vote to nationalize oil firms when they meet in the next few days.

The Rest @ AP

"Oil exporting countries may move toward nationalization because of the rapidly declining prices. This is put on the table and is being discussed seriously," Gaddafi said through an interpreter.
"Oil maybe should be owned by national companies or the public sector at this point, in order to control the oil prices, the oil production or maybe to stop it," he told the students. "We may refuse to sell it at this very low price."
Petro-Canada, one of Libya's largest foreign oil producers, said it has heard no talk of nationalizing its interests in the North African country.
"We continue to have a cooperative relationship with the government of Libya, both signing agreements last summer and implementing contracts," said Andrea Ranson, spokeswoman for the Calgary-based company.
In June, Petro-Canada signed six long-term exploration and production deals with Libya's state oil company that it said would lead to a doubling of production there.
U.S. companies ConocoPhillips, Hess Corp and Marathon Oil are active in Libya under a consortium called Oasis Group with Libyan National Oil Corp. Other U.S. firms involved there are ExxonMobil, Chevron and Occidental.
Gaddafi said he hoped nationalization could be avoided by a price rise. Continued...

Famoval of Iran to Build Cars in Algeria

Famoval (Fabrication & Montage de Vehicules Industriels d’Algerie), a firm headed by Mohamed Rahmoune, has teamed up with Iran’s Saipa to build a car Assembly Line in Algeria...

The Rest @ Maghareb Confidential

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

AQIM Plague Survivors may be moving intto Bejaia and Jijel provinces

Possibly Infected Survivors of the Plage may have moved into Bejaia and Jijel provinces of Algeria after their caves in Tinzi Ouzou were abandoned/

Words from the Emirs in the field seems to be they are terrified, and are — hoping the plague did not go with them .

The Rest @ The Sun.

AQIM brings Plague to Tizi Ouzou, Algeria?

40 al-Qaeda terrorists dead after exposure to the plague: report
Peter Goodspeed, National Post Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Related Topics

E-Mail this story

Seven years after they transformed George W. Bush's presidency, al-Qaeda terrorists are pushing to the top of his successor's priority list.

The very day Barack Obama was sworn in as President, warning Americans "our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," there were reports an al-Qaeda affiliate recently abandoned a training camp in Algeria after 40 terrorists died from being exposed to the plague during a biological weapons test.

The report, which first surfaced in the British tabloid newspaper The Sun, claims members of al-Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQLIM) hurriedly abandoned their cave hideouts in Tizi Ouzou province, 150 kilometres east of the Algerian capital Algiers, after being exposed to plague bacteria.

The newspaper said they apparently became infected while experimenting with biological weapons.
  • Algerian security forces discovered the body of a dead terrorist alongside a road near the abandoned hideout.
  • U.S. intelligence officials, speaking anonymously to the Washington Times newspaper on Tuesday, could only confirm the sudden base closure after an unconventional weapons test went wrong.
  • The officials said they intercepted an urgent communication in early January between the AQIM leadership and al-Qaeda's top leaders in the tribal region of Pakistan.
  • The Algerian terrorists said they were abandoning and sealing off a training area after a leak of a chemical or biological substance.

There are two types of plague. Bubonic plague, which is spread by bites from infected rat fleas, killed a third of Europe's population in the 14th century but can now be treated with antibiotics.

Pneumonic plague is less common but more deadly. It is spread, like the flu, by airborne bacteria, and can be inhaled and transmitted between humans without the involvement of animals or fleas.

The Rest @ The National Post

Alert: - Watch anyone Coming to Europe or US From Algeria

  • On Monday, the Sun ran a story reporting that 40 terrorists from AQIM had died of plague in a terrorist training camp in Tizi Ouzou.
  • U.S. intelligence community (unofficially confirmed) that an incident had taken place at a training camp that had to be shut down as a result. (deaths unconfirmed)
  • 60 terrorists from AQIM from Tizi Ouzou just decided they wanted to surrender to the authorities
email me if you want sources

Iran & Mouritania

Someone In Tehran, Iran seems to be trying to establish contacts in The Mouritanian Chamber of Commerce....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

UN to Renew its Somali "Peacekeeping" Operation

The UN again does nothing to strengthenth Somalia but renews the authorization of their peacekeeping force. That way, they can "say the tried" when Somalia blows up in interfaction fighting that is soon to begin.


January 2009 – Renewing the authorization of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia today, the Security Council called for action to bolster those troops, while signalling its intention to establish a United Nations force, when conditions permit, in the Horn of Africa country that has lacked a functioning central government since 1991.

In the resolution adopted unanimously by the 15-member body, Secretary-General Ban Ki-mooren is requested to establish a trust fund to help support the AU force, known as AMISOM, and to facilitate a logistical support package, training and equipment, in anticipation of its eventual absorption into a UN force.

The Council also urged African nations to boost AMISOM''s troop strength from the current 2,600 to the 8,000 originally authorized.

It requested Mr. Ban, by 15 April, to develop the mandate for a UN force including assisting the flow of humanitarian aid, monitoring a ceasefire and assisting “in supporting the effective re-establishment and training of inclusive Somali security forces, including military, police and judiciary.”

The “follow-on” UN force is subject, however, to a further decision of the Council, to be taken by 1 June 2009, according to the resolution.
Violence continues in Somalia despite the signing in June 2008 of the UN-facilitated Djibouti Agreement by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS).

Both sides agreed in that pact to end their conflict and called on the UN to deploy an international stabilization force in the troubled nation.

In his latest comments on the issue, Mr. Ban has stated that conditions are not yet right for a UN peacekeeping operation in Somalia and he recommended strengthening the AU Mission.

Many Security Council members at today''s meeting, while supporting assistance to AMISOM, also warned against a too-hasty authorization of a UN force, citing chaotic conditions in the country and difficulties in mobilizing peacekeeping resources.

In the past few days, as Ethiopian troops withdrew from Mogadishu two years after rolling in to support the embattled Government from a growing insurgency, Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah urged local factions to ensure peace and stability in the war-ravaged country and to hasten the election of a new president.

Today''s resolution reaffirmed that it was up to Somalis to abide by peace agreements and to establish national forces that would ultimately assume full responsibility for security.

UN team to explore ways of supporting security in violence-wracked Somalia

UN Press Release

What Has Happened to Robert Fowler and Louis Guay?

The international community's efforts to encourage the Niger government toward negotiations with the Tuareg-led MNJ rebels have come up against new hurdles.

The United Nations appointed a peace-maker, but he and his companions were kidnapped three days after arriving; they have not been found for over a month (news synthesis, below).

  • The national army's atrocities on Tuareg civilians appear to continue unabated in the north (MNJ January 4, 2009).
  • Two Canadian diplomats, Robert Fowler and Louis Guay, along with their Nigerien chauffeur Soumana Mounkaila, sent by the UN to explore the possibility of peace talks, were apparently abducted in Niger on December 14th just outside of the capital of Niamey, over 700 miles from the MNJ base and conflict area in the Air Mountains.
  • Their vehicle, clearly marked with the UNDP insignia, was found empty the following day, with the engine running and turn signal light flashing; the doors left open, and expensive equipment including three mobile phones and a camera left inside the vehicle.
  • A Nigerien reporter thinks the men may have pulled over voluntarily, since the turn signal light was still on; they may have been responding to a gesture or signal from an official vehicle (Edwards, January 12, 2009).
  • The men disappeared after 6:30 PM on Dec. 14th following their visit from 10:30 AM-3:30 PM to a gold mine at Samira Hill that was owned by two Canadian companies, Etruscan Resources and Semafo, Inc.
  • The UNDP vehicle was found abandoned near a ferry crossing on the Niger River, about half way between Niamey and a Canadian-run gold mine where they had toured the mines and shared lunch with the mining employees (Clark Dec. 19, 2008).
  • Fowler, 64, was a veteran Canadian diplomat appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in July 2008 as a special envoy to Niger to try to help sort out the conflict; the MNJ rebels had been hoping for a mediator.
  • On their website, the MNJ suggest that the Niger government may have kidnapped the UN officials. Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Lawrence Cannon, has not ruled out the possibility that the government of Niger may have been involved, although there is no evidence that has "publicly emerged" that would indicate the Niger government's role in the kidnapping (Edwards, Jan. 12, 2009).
  • Nigerien journalists have also said they secretly suspect their government is responsible for the men's disappearance (Edwards, January 12, 2009).
  • Reporters in Niger must remain cautious and circumspect, because the government of Niger has placed a ban on unbiased coverage of the conflict, and has jailed reporters suspected of interviewing the MNJ, so that self-censorship has become a necessary means of survival among the news agencies in Niger.
  • One Nigerien reporter said that the men's disappearance was all the more mysterious because the area where they had been travelling was under heavier than usual military surveillance, with reinforced government security forces to make the zone safe for a national festival that was about to take place at the town of Tilabery, and so it's difficult to imagine how criminals or terrorists could have carried out a kidnapping under such high security.
  • One source says that reporters in Niger have called Mr. Fowler "Mr. Africa," and say he is "Niger's friend" (Edwards, Dec. 19, 2008).

Both Canadian and Nigerien investigators have even considered the possibility of an armed Islamist group taking the men for ransom, or of some other group kidnapping the men and delivering them to an Islamist group, although there has been no indication in the past month that a demand for ransom is forthcoming.

Over the past few years, armed Muslim radicals including some associated with the group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), have kidnapped Europeans in the Sahara on several occasions, but their main motive seems to have been to obtain ransom money. The Canadian government, anxious to find the missing men, has enlisted the help of the Malian government, where two Austrian tourists were kidnapped for an $8 million ransom by AQIM in February 2008 (AP, December 30, 2008).

AQIM took 19 days before announcing its demand for ransom. The fact that no one has come forward to claim responsibility and no ransom has been demanded at this point indicates that the outcome is less likely to be a positive one (Fitzpatrick, January 7, 2009).

The UN convoy that was sent to explore the possibility of getting peace negotiations started simply disappeared in Niger.

But Niger's ambassador to Canada, Nana Foumakoye, said that the Niger government had accepted the UN envoys' mission and approved it. She claimed that the Niger government was very interested in Fowler's mission, and that if there had been any objection, they could have prevented the UN mission through diplomatic channels.

One anonymous Western observer points out that Niger would have known that "the international community would get to the bottom of this kidnapping," and another observer said he doubted any role of the Niger government, because the country depends on foreign support.

However, according to Canadian sources, the UN envoy was sent to Niger in near secrecy by the UN for exploratory security talks (Fitzpatrick, January 7, 2009; Edwards, January 12, 2009), so it is not clear that the Niger government was in agreement with the proposed talks.

  • The mission was not acknowledged publicly by the UN until after the men went disappearing (Edwards, Dec. 17, 2008).
  • It is not uncommon for the UN to keep a low profile on such appointments, to maintain discretion in very delicate diplomatic situations (Edwards, Dec. 16, 2008).

For the past two years, the Niger government has refused negotiations with the rebels, and has never officially asked the UN to mediate (AFP Dec. 21, 2008). The leadership of Niger has, on the contrary, repeatedly asserted that it will not negotiate.

Thus the UN Security Council itself did not know about the secret envoy, although the Canadian and Nigerien governments did. UN officials have not commented except to say that Fowler was on a "official trip" for meetings with officials, while the government of Niger says that the envoy's visit was "private," on "private business," and that he had "left Niamey without informing the authorities" to visit the gold mine (BBC Dec. 24, 2008; AFP, Dec. 28, 2008).

Nigerien reporter Boubacar Diallo, who is president of the Niger Association of Independent Press Editors and works on human rights issues, says that foreign officials must provide an account of where they are going, and take a "protocol official" with them (Edwards, Dec. 17, 2008).

  • Travel within Niger, as with many other African countries, even between one town and the next, requires formal permission from the government, and apparently the envoy did not have it.
  • One source points out that Guay had been involved with the mining industry for a number of years, and questions what Fowler and Guay were doing when they were kidnapped, since they were not in a Tuareg region, did not have UN security with them or a Nigerien protocol officer (Lee, Dec. 18, 2008).
  • However, Canadian authorities point out that "it's not unusual for Canadian dignitaries to visit the Samira Hill mine … It's one of the biggest Canadian operations in Niger, and embassy officials like to showcase a success" (Bagnall, Dec. 18, 2008). This resonates with statements made by Mr. Guay himself several months before his trip, according to the CEO of Semafo, Inc., who recalled Mr. Guay as saying he was interested in seeing a "Canadian success story" (Edwards, Dec. 18, 2008).

It may be that a few sources have read too much into the connection between the members of the UN envoy and the gold mines; after all, mining is one of the central issues of the Tuareg-led MNJ's claims, and one could see how someone familiar with mining concerns in general could be useful in negotiating better work conditions, environmental safety, jobs, revenues, relationships with the community, and so forth for the people who are lobbying for them.

Also, the gold mines are said to be a popular excursion for visiting Canadian officials. It's not uncommon for visiting officials to want to see some sights while they are in a country, and this was on a Sunday, presumably a day off from work.

On the other hand, the Inner City Press at the UN alleges that there was a conflict of interest in the UN's initiative to explore peace talks with the Tuareg-led rebels who want reforms to the mining industry and a share of the revenues, saying that the UN has employed people who have "conflict-sensitive business practices" who are themselves involved in the mining industry in collaboration with the government of Niger.

The source claims that the UNDP helped build the Canadian-owned gold mines at Samira, and that the UN's "Global Impact" board includes a CEO of the French-owned uranium mine Areva, which is a major focus of the Tuareg-led rebellion (Lee, December 18).

However, corporate representatives affiliated with Global Compact, "the world's largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative," have called on governments to meet their human rights obligations and care for the environment, both of which are goals MNJ is seeking for Niger.

According to the Inner City Press at the UN, one of the two Canadian-owned gold mining companies at Samira, Semafo, is involved in uranium extraction in the north, where Tuareg pasture land is being appropriated for the uranium industry.

One of Fowler's specializations is the illegal weapons trade, and Inner City claims that Niger buys weapons from Canada (Lee, December 16 & 17, 2008).

They suggest that such connections might have made the rebels distrust the UN envoy.

However, China, according to the MNJ, has been a major supplier of weapons to Niger, including the landmines and tanks used against MNJ forces; yet, when the MNJ took a Chinese mining executive hostage in 2007, the MNJ acknowledged it publicly and quickly released him unharmed after talking with him.

The Nigerien head of Niamey's UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Modibo Traore, said "Mr. Fowler came here as part of an official UN visit, but we were not aware of his trip out of town to the Samira gold mine."

He also said that Mr. Fowler was the UN's special representative for Niger, "and in that capacity he is responsible for humanitarian problems and for finding a solution to the [Tuareg] rebellion." Mr. Fowler arrived in Niger on Dec. 11, and on Dec. 12 he met with Niger's Minister of the Interior, Albade Abouba, and Justice Minister, Dagra Mamadou.

However, Niger's Communications Minister, Mohamed Ben Omar, said that the UN envoy was "not on official business," but had entered the country on the basis of a desire to attend Niger's 50th anniversary celebrations in Tilabery on Dec. 18th (AFP Dec. 21, 2008). Apparently some have suspected that "Fowler was, at least on this trip, using the UN, its Laissez Passer and other benefits, for some other purpose," because he visited the gold mine (Lee Dec. 19, 2008). Ben Omar also added that there was a second car that had followed behind the UNDP vehicle when it left Niamey, and it had Togolese license plates, but the second car had not been located.

  • A Nigerien who operates a restaurant close to the ferry landing where the UNDP vehicle was allegedly discovered says "There's no way the car can have been found on the ferry car park. There were far too many people for something like that to happen under our noses. We stay open until midnight and after that private security guards take over to look after our things until morning."

He claimed he had seen the car as it left the ferry at about 6:30 PM after it had crossed the river from visiting the gold mine, and the car continued on, heading towards Niamey. When the UN envoy did not return to Niamey by 7 PM, a UN staffperson in Niamey called a resident at the ferry town to alert the police; however, the police apparently did not discover the vehicle until the following morning (Edwards, Dec. 17, 2008).

It wasn't until one month (Jan.13th) after the men's disappearance on Dec. 14th that the president of Niger, Tandja Mamadou, made a public statement about it at a New Year's celebration in Niamey, saying he believes that "ethnic Tuareg rebel groups" abducted the two Canadians. He says that the rebels have been trying to overthrow the government because the revenues from the uranium mining are not benefiting the Nigerien people. He asserts that the rebels are "terrorist" groups involved with drug trafficking, and smuggling of weapons and people across borders.
The rebel group, MNJ, has kidnapped several French and Chinese uranium mining executives briefly over the past two years, and then handed them over to the Red Cross after a few days. They claim they did so in order to speak with them personally and tell them their grievances about the marginalization of their people, and they did not harm them. The MNJ seems to want to show that they are being transparent about their actions and motives by reporting the details on their website, and making their demands known quickly. They have never kidnapped for ransom.

The MNJ has enthusiastically denied any part in the disappearance of the UN envoy, and they suggest that it was the Niger government's security agencies that kidnapped the UN officials in order to discredit the rebel group. The MNJ has been calling for international intervention to get help with negotiations from their website for the past two years, and they say they openly welcome foreign reporters, relief agencies and diplomats. Issouf ag Maha, an MNJ representative, visited the UN in 2007, seeking international help to get negotiations started.

The UN's Special Advisor on conflict, Jan Egeland, made a tour through Mali and Niger in May 2008 and concluded that "the UN could and should do more to help with reconciliation at the local level, local development and empowerment for farmers and agricultural communities in the north and pastoralists." Egeland added, "There are people here who are advocating for a military solution to the rebellions, armed attacks and smugglers . . . but legitimate social, political and cultural grievances . . . require investment, development and dialogue" (IRIN, June 2, 2008; Egeland, June 4, 2008).

In July 2008, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Fowler, who has considerable experience with negotiations in African conflicts, "in an effort to calm escalating tensions among Tuareg rebels, the Niger government and mining companies." Ag Maha, who met Fowler in September 2008, said, "Fowler was working to bring peace to Niger" (Lebel Dec. 20, 2008). Thus, there doesn't seem to be any clear motive for rebels kidnapping Mr. Fowler, since they viewed him as trying to be of help in getting negotiations going. The MNJ has vowed to help in the investigation by calling on its networks in Niamey and elsewhere around Niger to obtain more information (Edwards, Dec. 18, 2008, MNJ Dec. 18, 2008).

According to news sources (The Star, Jan. 14, 2009), a splinter rebel group, the Front des Forces de Redressement (FFR), allegedly claimed responsibility on their website within a few days after the men's disappearance, but within hours they posted their denial of any responsibility.


  • The FFR says their website was sabotaged via a secure communications protocol (Spencer, Dec. 19, 2008; BBC Dec. 24, 2008).
  • "Our group does not practice hostage-taking, and we will not be the puppets in a game initiated by a group whose purpose isn't known," said the FFR on its website (Spencer, December 19, 2008).
  • No rebel groups claim to have kidnapped the UN envoy. There is no evidence of any involvement of the government of Niger, just speculation.
  • Both the rebels and the government of Niger have tried to be of help in finding them.
  • Is there some other group, as yet undiscovered, that was responsible for the envoy's disappearance? So far, the Canadian government has not been able to discover anything of their whereabouts.
  • The U.S. State Department has offered their full support to locate the missing men (Spencer Dec. 19, 2008).

The Rest @ Tuerg Culture and News

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Al Shabbab- Al Shaar - Defeated in Gruael Somalia

Latest News
January 12, 2009 - 11:04
Somalis welcome defeat of al-Shabaab Islamists
By Peter Clottey

Somalis are celebrating reports of the defeat of the Islamic fundamentalist group al-Shabab after several members of their fighters were killed Sunday in fierce clashes in central Somalia.

Al-Shabab, described as by Washington as a terrorist organization, clashed with Islamist group Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca for control of central Somalia as Ethiopian troops began their crucial withdrawal.

  • Several al-Shabab militant fighters were reported killed and their weapons seized.
  • Sheik Abdulkarim Risak is a senior officer of the Islamic group Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca.

He tells reporter Peter Clottey that his fighters will continue fighting al-Shabab until they are flushed out of Somalia.

"As you already know, early in the morning they (al-Shabab) came from different places to Gruael.

You know, most of the Somalis call them al-Shabab, but in the Somali language we say they are al-Shaar because they are evil really.

They come fighting in different places and killed a lot of people, but Allah willing, we saved our people and we pushed them back some kilometers," Risak noted.

He said his Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca fighters would continue to protect mainstream defenseless Somalis.

"We are defending ourselves. We are defending our wives. And we are defending our religion. Our religion prohibits Muslims fighting among ourselves, and you know, these people are not Muslims at all.

  • They are foreign fighters, and I think they are al-Qaeda. But al-Qaeda is not functioning here in Somalia," he said.

Risak said his group is full of devout Muslims who pleaded with al-Shabab not to attack them, but claims that was not heeded.

"In here we consider Islam as a very good religion and we are not at war with anybody. We already told them to please not enter into our area of influence and internal affairs, but they refused that," Risak pointed out.

He said his group would continue to flush out fighters belonging to al-Shabab.

  • "Thanks to Allah, we have taught them a lesson today because they left at least 50 persons dead.
  • And I think most of them are foreigners, and maybe they might be coming from South East Asia.

And today they have received a good lesson. And I think they would not fight again because this is the latest casualties they have received in Gureal... and now we are moving to the capital, Mogadishu.

We will continue to chase them wherever they are, and even if they are in a corner of our country, I think we would not stop our fighting," he said

The Rest @ Adwal News Network

Khan network Put on the OFAC List

Ahmar Mustikhan on Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:38 AM ESTNews Type:

The United States has imposed sanctions on A.Q. Khan and more than a dozen other individuals and companies who were part of his nuclear arms smuggling network. Khan, also known as 'Father of Islamic Bomb,' came on record to say last year that he was not alone in the underworld nuclear arms bazaar but that the country's army was fully involved in the racket.

The nationalities of the individuals include three Pakistanis, two Turks, two Britons, two Germans, two Malaysians, one Swiss, and one Sri Lankan.

Pakistan has blocked any international investigators from interviewing Khan.

Pakistanis raised the slogans of "Allah is Great," at the time of the nuclear tests and Islamists celebrated the occasion by taking to the streets of Karachi, commercial capital of Pakistan, with missile replicas mounted on trucks. India, Israel and United States were inscribed on the missiles.

But the Baluch people protest against the nuclear tests every May, saying those deadly tests have destroyed their ancestral lands for good. Last year there were protests all over Baluchistan, Karachi, Washington DC, Toronto and Vancouver against the tests. Two of the protesters were abducted by the Pakistani intelligence services.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are prohibited from doing any business with those individuals whose names appear on the Specially Designated List of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The individuals and entities were also designated by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as being subject to the import ban of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Trade Control Regulations.

Khan's name appeared on both lists.

The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN list:

  • ALGUADIS, Selim; DOB 27 May 1944; POB Turkey; nationality United Kingdom; Passport 585843 (Turkey) issued 11 Nov 1999 (individual) [NPWMD]
  • CIRE, Kursad Zafer (a.k.a. CIRE, Kursat Zafer); DOB 30 Aug 1967; POB Germany; nationality Turkey; Passport 778456 (Turkey) issued 14 May 1997 expires 13 May 2007 (individual) [NPWMD]
  • FAROOQ, Muhammad; DOB 12 Mar 1949; nationality Pakistan; Passport S122252 (Pakistan) (individual) [NPWMD]
  • GEIGES, Daniel; DOB 25 Jan 1938; POB Lachen, Switzerland; nationality Switzerland; Passport 8071366 (Switzerland) (individual) [NPWMD]
    GRIFFIN, Paul Nicholas; DOB 16 Feb 1964; nationality United Kingdom (individual) [NPWMD]
  • GRIFFIN, Peter; DOB 9 Sep 1935; POB Oxford, United Kingdom; nationality United Kingdom; Passport B401584 (United Kingdom) issued 28 Sep 1989 expires28 Sep 1999; alt. Passport B109455 (United Kingdom) issued 3 Oct 1979 (individual) [NPWMD]
  • KHAN, Abdul Qadeer (a.k.a. ZAMAN, Hayder); DOB 27 Apr 1936; POB Bhopal, India; nationality Pakistan; Passport D000428 (Pakistan) (individual) [NPWMD]
    LERCH, Gotthard, Kreuzbergstrasse 4, 9472 Grabs, St Gallen Canton, Switzerland; DOB 21 Dec 1942; POB Germany; nationality Germany; Passport 3545767791D (Germany) issued 7 Aug 1998 expires 6 Aug 2008; alt. Passport 3545767791 (Germany) (individual) [NPWMD]
  • TAHIR, Buhary Seyed Abu; DOB 17 Apr 1959; POB Chennai, India; nationality Sri Lanka; Passport M2068357 (Sri Lanka) issued 4 Sep 2001 expires Sep 2006; alt. Passport M1754102 (Sri Lanka) issued 16 Mar 1999 expires 16 Mar 2004 (individual) [NPWMD]
    WISSER, Gerhard; DOB 2 Jul 1939; POB Lohne, Germany; nationality Germany; Passport 3139001443 (Germany) (individual) [NPWMD]
  • The following foreign entities and individuals have been designated by the Secretary of State as being subject to the import ban of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Trade Control Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 539):
  • ALGUADIS, Selim; DOB 27 May 1944; POB Turkey; nationality United Kingdom; Passport 585843 (Turkey) issued 11 Nov 1999 (individual)
  • BIN RUKIBAN, Shamsul Bahrin, Malaysia (individual)
  • CIRE, Kursad Zafer (a.k.a. CIRE, Kursat Zafer); DOB 30 Aug 1967; POB Germany; nationality Turkey; Passport 778456 (Turkey) issued 14 May 1997 expires 13 May 2007 (individual)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Abu Yusuf of Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca Claim victory of Shabaab

Witnesses said more than 20 people, mostly fighters, were killed in Sunday's battles between Hareka al Shabaab al Mujahideen, or the Mujahideen Youth Movement, and another Islamist group in Gurael, a trading town in central Somalia.

Sheikh Abdullahi Abu Yusuf, spokesman for the Islamist group Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca, said its fighters had killed 30 al Shabaab militants and seized most of their weapons.
Resident Ahmed Ali told Reuters by telephone he had seen two dead, including an al Shabaab leader, and said Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca was in control of the town after repulsing an attack.

A doctor at Istarlin hospital in Gurael said it had received 20 wounded on Sunday and more were on their way.

The fighting followed clashes a day earlier between al Shabaab rebels and moderate Islamists in Balad, 30 km (19 miles) north of Mogadishu, on Saturday.

Al Shabaab, which spearheaded attacks last year to become the face of the insurgency, is also battling Ethiopian and government soldiers elsewhere outside the capital.

While the fighting may be a struggle between Islamist groups jostling for position as the Ethiopians go, local militias angry with al Shabaab's acts are reported to be helping.

Washington accuses the group of having close ties to al Qaeda. Al Shabaab has been imposing strict sharia law on the towns it controls in southern Somalia -- banning drinking or films and beheading suspected government collaborators.

Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca accuses al Shabaab of hunting down and killing its religious leaders and desecrating graves.

Somalia's interim President Sheikh Aden Madobe said on Saturday that al Shabaab was the biggest threat to stability in the Horn of Africa nation and appealed for international help to build up Somali security forces.

(Reporting from Mogadishu; Writing by David Clarke; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)

The Rest @ International Hearld Tribune
NAIROBI (AFP) — Somali pirates said Friday they had freed a Saudi-owned supertanker, whose capture nearly two months ago wreaked panic in international shipping and spurred the world into tougher anti-piracy action.

The 330-metre Sirius Star, owned by the shipping arm of oil giant Saudi Aramco, was seized far off the east African coast on November 15, in what was the pirates' most daring attack and largest catch to date.

"All our people have now left the Sirius Star. The ship is free, the crew is free," Mohamed Said, one of the leaders of the pirate group, told AFP by telephone from the pirate lair of Harardhere.
"There were last-minute problems but now everything has been finalised."

Sahafi Abdi Aden, speaking from the same town on Somalia's Indian Ocean coast, also said the hijacking was over.

"I am in Harardhere now and the issue of the Sirius Star was resolved peacefully. I cannot go into the details of the agreement but I can say that the ship is free," he told AFP.
"No member of the crew or of the pirates was hurt during this hijacking."
The amount of the ransom paid for the ship's release was not yet known. Pirates had told AFP days after seizing the Sirius Star they wanted 25 million dollars (18 million euros) for its release but the latest reports indicated that the demand had been lowered to around 3.5 million.
The Sirius Star was manufactured in South Korea and delivered last year. It is believed to be worth around 150 million dollars and its cargo was estimated at the time of the hijacking at 100 million dollars.
The crew of the Sirius Star is made up of 25 people from Britain, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Poland, where the ship's captain hails from.
Pirates operating off Somalia's coast, in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, have carried out more than 130 attacks in 2008 alone, turning the region into the world's most dangerous waters.
The capture of the Sirius Star, which is carrying close to a fourth of top world producer Saudi Arabia's daily output, sent shockwaves through the world's shipping industry.
The Gulf of Aden is a key maritime trade route, where thousands of ships bottle-neck into the Red Sea before heading to the Suez canal, linking Europe to Asia.
Following the Saudi tanker's hijacking, some companies decided to change their itineraries and send their ships on the longer but safer route around the southern tip of Africa, via the Cape of Good Hope.
With Somalia's pirates, a rag-tag army of fishermen and former coastguards armed with RPGs, speedboats and grapnels, threatening world trade, the international community was jolted into action.
The European Union launched its first ever joint naval operation in a bid to deter pirates in the Gulf of Aden and escort UN food aid shipments to war-wracked Somalia.
The UN Security Council also adopted resolutions empowering foreign navies to tackle piracy and further plans are afoot to ensure all legal provisions are made for pirates to be arrested and prosecuted.
Yet Somalia's modern-day buccaneers have continued to grow in number and audacity, reinvesting ransom money into better equipment and apparently benefitting from an expanding network.
The capture of the Sirius Star also raised the spectre of an environmental disaster, should the hijackers decide to turn the ship into a weapon or foreign navies attempt to release it by force.
Somali pirates still hold 16 vessels and more than 300 crew members.
Among them is the MV Faina, a Ukrainian cargo ship carrying 33 battle tanks which was seized in September last year.

Abdi Godane also named Sheik Mokhtar Abu-Zubeyr

In a recent sensitive speech made by the Imam of the terrorist Islamist group ‘Shabab’ in Somalia Ahmed Abdi Ow-Mohamud Gonade said offensive words against the moderate Muslims and democracy.

The US wanted leader Mr. Godane which now uses the name Sheik Mokhtar Abu-Zubeyr talked about the current political change in Somalia like the departure of the Ethiopian troops, the Djibouti peace accord, the efforts by the Somali Islamic scholars and the endeavor of Sheik Sharif Ahmed towards forming of new broad based government in the country.

The speech given by the name “The Islamic Values and the fiction of Democracy” delivered in Kismayo, the Shabab controlled southern port city in Somalia . Listen the speech..

“The infidels now came to understand that their plan to fight against Islamic fighters could not work by the time Somalis are sticking to their religion and now produced another tactic which by using what they called ‘the moderate Islamists as tool to defeat the Shabab.

It is obvious that the conspiracy meeting held in the US base, Djibouti masterminded that the moderate Islamic group united with the renegade government to,” said in the speech.
Godane added :

“We know that along side the Djibouti meeting, there was another conference attended by so-called selected scholars where they founded an organization dubbed ‘Al-Wifaaq’ aimed to undermine the power of Muslims,”

Godane also said there are so-called Islamists who are working out bringing Jihadists against each other. “the hatred by the so-called clerics on the pure Muslims was a long standing matter,”
What do you know about Shabab Leader?

  • Ahmed Abdi Ow Mohamud Godane was born in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland 10 July 1977.
  • He is from Arab sub-clan in Isaq clan, one of the dominant clan in northern Somalia .
  • He had received a scholarship in Pakistan funded by Saudi blind millionaires.
  • He used to visit in Afghanistan during holidays
  • In 2001, physically tin, Godane returned to Hargeisa, Somaliland . He began preaching in Abu-Bashir mosque in central Hargeisa between 2002 and 2003.
  • During that time, Mr. Godane organized some terror attacks against Somaliland security.
  • September 19 2002, a group loyal to Godane kidnapped a car owned by WFP.
  • The terror mission led by Jama Kutiye who late caught Dhoqoshley by the Somaliland security forces.
  • December 30, 2000, Godane’s men assassinated Martin in front of his Hotel in Hargeisa.
  • Also May 10, 2003, he was responsible for the killing against Analena Tonelli who was an Italian aid worker operating in Borame hospital.
  • November 8, 2003, Godane was the master minder of the killing on British couple who were teachers in a school located in Sheekh.
  • He was working for Ex-Barakat Telesom, Somaliland .
  • Later Godane escaped from Somaliland follwing a row with some of his group over a large amount of money they roped from an Ethiopian businessman and then fled southern Somalia after committing several criminal acts. His escape was facilitated by his brother who was police officer.
  • Godane was doing the terror operations along with a Somalilander man who was holding a US citizenship and called Ibrahim Hajji Jama known as ‘Ibrahim Afkhani’
  • Godane and Afkhani both had trainings in Afghanistan and made friends in southern Somalia where they diverted their mission and doubled it.
  • April 27, 2006, the security forces foiled a terror attack by Godane’s men aimed to kill foreign observers who were monitoring the election in Somaliland . The forces found explosives after the raid.
  • When the Islamic Courts Union came to power in southern Somalia in 2006 Mr. Godane who gave himself the name ‘Abu-Zubeyr became the general secretary for ICU.
    During the start of the war with Ethiopia late 2006, Godane got wounded and flown to Sudan for medical treatment.
  • He was brought back in southern Somalia February 2007 where he continued his terror mission.

Compiled by Waagacusub editor

Dhageyso Su-aalaha iyo Muxaadarada Hassan Dahir
Afhayeenka Hawiye Vs Mukhtaar Roobow -Dhageyso
Dhageyso dabaal dega Gor Gor Media Group
Madaxweyne Geelle oo khudbad dheer jeediyay Halkaan ka dhageyso

Cumar Xaashi Dhageyso Wareysigiisa
Murtida iyo Majaajilada Waagacusub Dhageyso
Waagacusub Media The Largest Media in Somalia ASOJ MEMBERS MET IN NAIROBI that meeting was discused the objective of the asoj and was nominated new

The Rest @ Waagacusub Media

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hubub placing Bets on When Folwer Will Be Released

I finds no evidence that supports the statement that the FFR captured Robert Fowler, but here is the report...

My Reading of their website explicitly Denies capturing Robert Fowler...


When will kidnapped Canadian Robert Fowler be released?

Current forecast: Fowler is not released before 1/19/09 (80% chance)

  • Combining all predictions, the current most likely outcome is Fowler is not released before 1/19/09 with a probability of 80% (unchanged in last 1 day)

  • "Tuareg rebels claim they have kidnapped a United Nations envoy to Niger.In a statement on its Web site, the FFR rebel group said that it seized Canadian Robert Fowler and three others in an operation Monday.

  • The U.N. said Fowler along with his assistant and their driver went missing Sunday. "

  • The rebels, representing a nomadic tribal group released a statement saying they took the U.N. special envoy to Niger to send a message to Canada for providing arms to Niger's government for use against the Tuareg people.

  • If this is their reasoning, they probably won't want to hold Fowler and the others too long. But how long will that be?

  • Category Editor Note: The question originally had the first option reading "released by 12/28/08", which overlapped the second one. This has been fixed. If you wagered on 1 or 2 prior to the edit, and wish your bet canceled, contact me via a flag. The final option has been slightly changed for a similar reason.

The Rest @

Friday, January 09, 2009

Romanian Police Work That Helped Capture Viktor Bout

Published in the Romainan Paper Ziua in Romainian on 5th of January 2008

Borders with Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova are the hottest borders for criminal activity [in Eastern Europe]

According to a report of the General Inspectorate of Border Police (IGPF), in 2008 the "hottest" border for infractions were Hungary, followed by Moldova and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, there were decreased infractions from the the border with Bulgaria, but [there were more] with Serbia.

Border police have found more than 28,500 of illegal acts, with about three per cent more compared to 2007. ".

"Most illegal acts were recorded in
  • illegal migration
  • forgery and use of forgery
  • human trafficking
  • smuggling of consumer goods.

Romanian border police had a vital contribution to the capture of arms trafficker Viktor Bout, in March 2008.

Following the cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the U.S., which led to the detainment, in June 2007, a terrorist Monzer Al Kassar, border police in the IGPF - Directorate for Combating cross-border crime (DCIT) were asked [by] U.S. authorities to identify and retain one of the biggest arms traffickers in the world, Viktor Bout.

  • For two weeks, officers from the DCIT - IGPF held information-operative actions to locating trafficker and probarii shares its international traffic of illegal weapons.
  • Together with DEA agents, arrived in Bucharest, the Romanian border police have established several actions catching Bout on existing information that he would be interested to meet some "beneficiaries of arms, including Romania.
  • Discussions were monitored between Bout, one of the [local officials] and its undercover investigators on carrying a consignment of weapons in Colombia, worth $ 5 million, to "attract" to Romania in orde .
  • Weapons were to be bought and sold by Bout [to the] FARC (Armed Forces Columbiene revolutionary).
  • vidence obtained after information-operative activities carried out in Romania, with the support of the Romanian border police, have led to the arrest and criminalization of Viktor Bout for the offense of conspiracy and association to illegal trafficking of arms to terrorist organizations.

Mobs in Romania

Local Police have detained several major criminals, looking to trafficking in arms, drugs, etc.. [to Europe]

In July 2008, border guards spotted Angelo Moretti, for 53 years, with 18 criminal convictions in Italy and watched by authorities Peninsula for "mafia-type association, evasion and disruption of industrial or commercial activities" and for prisoners of illegal weapons, explosive materials, acts of violence, outrage and attempted murder.

  • Italian, accompanied by master Zafer Yussuf, 43 years, on behalf of whom the Italian authorities [emmssaries] brought arrest warrant for the port illegal arms and drug trafficking, trying to get illegally in Greece.
  • The two were caught by border guards of the PTF Calafat, Dolj County, on 14 July 2008, to questions the [legitimacy of their]the Italian identity card.
  • The two were handed to Italian authorities via Interpol bureau.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Shabaab Retreat Peacfully from Garbharey

Ibrahim Hussein Du'a le, the WFP official, was killed in the outskirts of Garbaharey, the provincial capital of Gedo region next to the Ethiopian border.

A relative of the victim told Radio Garowe that he could not think of any reason why Mr. Du'ale was targeted, but a senior member of Al Shabaab has spoken out against the killing.

"The person who killed him [WFP official] will be brought to court and I send my condolences to the family," said Sheikh Hassan Jibril, Al Shabaab's top commander in Gedo, who claimed to be inside Garbaharey.

Yesterday, Ethiopian-backed clan militia peacefully captured Garbaharey after Al Shabaab insurgents withdrew towards the town of Bardhere, also in Gedo.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for aid workers to operate.

The Rest @ Garowe Online

Ahmed Abdi Godane

What has happend to Ahmed Abdi Godane, Shabaab Leader? He seems to have disappeared.

Monday, January 05, 2009

MS-13 Reorganizing

I don't normally comment on the Americas, but this one may have a Venezuelan Drug Connection that may be coming from the Middle East....., is this an Islamist connection?


Open Intelligence Review suggests that MS-13 may be in international Reorganization due to:

  • Reprisals by peasants in rural Guatemala
  • Black Shadow death squads in El Salvador
  • Central American Prison Deaths in El Salvador,
  • A recent raid on MS-13 members in San Francisco with other cities possibly coming up,

MS-13 May be developing news strategies: They have been very popular in the US with a wide range of talent from marginal to very effective, but they currently have a comparatively decentralized gang culture.

Therefore, MS-13 may be trying to reorganize in the following ways:

  • Evaluate their US talent
  • Merging less promising cliques into other groups with better established drug retail connections
  • Move their more talented leaders into less street-visible Major drug Wholesalers.

This would protect their contacts in expensive and hard-to-set-up transit networks from exposure to rival DTOs.

Intelligence Questions to answer:

  1. Have they may have established a new source of drugs, possibly through Venezuela, or Nicaragua which would cause them to leverage their Central American - US Transit networks?
  2. Are they there other signs that they are trying to compete with the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels?
  3. Are there signs of efforts to develop more sophisticated operational, intelligence and communication efforts
  4. Which MS-13 members are traveling from which cities?
  5. How has their crime pattern changed?
  6. Are they establishing more sophisticated human trafficking network logistical assets?

Interim conclusion

  • MS-13 is restructuring

Possible final Conclusions

  • MS-13 is simply trying to consolidate and organize recent growth in their numbers in the US, and address attriion in Central America
  • MS-13 is trying to move up the wholesale chain as a DTO
  • MS-13 is trying to Model themselves after more sophisticated multifacited international criminal organizations kie la cosa nostra and are making changes at all levels -Federico Garcia-Ochoa
The Rest on MS-13 @ Thug Life DFW

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hamas's Nizar Rayyan, Reported Dead

A senior Hamas leader has been killed by an Israeli air strike on his home in the Gaza Strip, Hamas officials say.

Nizar Rayyan, the most senior Hamas figure to be killed since 2004, had urged suicide attacks against Israel.

News of the strike came on the sixth day of Israeli strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian medical sources say 402 people have been killed. Israel says it is trying to prevent militants from firing rockets into southern Israel.

Mr Rayyan is the most senior Hamas leader to be killed since the death of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi in April 2004.

The Rest @ of Adalvoice (Swiss Somali Community)