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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Marcello Mori

Marcello Mori

CVEUROPEANCURRICULUM VITAEFORMATPERSONAL INFORMATION

MORI, Marcello
Délégation de la Commission européenne à Rabat (Maroc)
Riad Business Center, Aile Sud,Boulevard Er-Riad, B.P. 1302 RABAT,
MarocTelephone +212-37-57.98.40Fax +212-37-57.98.54E-mail marcello.mori@ec.europa.eu
Nationality Italian
Date of birth 03/12/1954

WORK EXPERIENCEPROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE with the Commission: •

Dates: From 1 October 2006 to date: •Name and address of employer : European CommissionDelegation of the European Commission in Rabat (Morocco)• Type of business or sector: • Occupation or position held: Head of Operational Section• Main activities and responsibilities:Leading a team composed of 3 CAs, 1 JED and 5 LAsResponsible for the following sectors: - infrastructures- energy- water- governance- human rights- institutional twinning• Dates: From 15 March 2005 to 30 September 2006: •Name and address of employer : European CommissionAIDCO/A/6 - Twinning Operations (MEDA & TACIS) • Type of business or sector: • Occupation or position held: Task Manager • Main activities and responsibilities: Within the new Directorate for Neighbourhood Policy, became responsible for completing the introduction twinning and TAIEX in MEDA countries & adapting the procedures for TACIS countries • Dates: From 15 February 2003 to 14 March 2005: •Name and address of employer : European CommissionAIDCO/B/5 - Multi-sectors Thematic Support • Type of business or sector: • Occupation or position held: Task Manager • Main activities and responsibilities: He became responsible for monitoring the Support Programmes to the Implementation of Association Agreements in five MEDA countries (namely Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt).He participated in the Working Group set up by the Commission for the redaction of a new Twinning Manual common to all concerned geographical regions (PHARE, CARDS, TACIS and MEDA). He was invited in several EU capitals to explain the new perspectives available for MEDA countries with the New Neighbourhood Policy. • Dates: From 19 August 2002 to 14 February 2003 : •Name and address of employer : European CommissionAIDCO/B/6 • Type of business or sector: • Occupation or position held: Task Manager • Main activities and responsibilities: Responsible for transport, infrastructures, water and energy projects in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen • Dates: From 2 October 1997 to 18 August 2002 : •Name and address of employer : European CommissionDelegation in Gabon • Type of business or sector: • Occupation or position held: Civil Engineering Adviser • Main activities and responsibilities: Preparation of the 8th EDF Sysmin programme Preparation of the 9th EDF National Indicative ProgrammePrincipal projects in Gabon: Lalara-Mitzic road (55 km) Three borders area - Bridges on the Ntem River at the border with CameroonRehabilitation of 4 regional hospitals Implementation of the 7th EDF Sysmin Programme: rehabilitation of mining sites, works and supplies Principal projects in Sao Tome and Principe: Rehabilitation of the hydroelectric power station of Rio Contador Conveyance of drinking water of the town of Sao Tome Rehabilitation of secondary roads in a rural environment Conveyance of drinking water of S.Antonio in Principe Rehabilitation of the systems of filtration to Trindade and S.Joao dos Angolares Preparation of the 8th EDF National Indicative Programme• Dates: From 1 May 1992 to 1 October 1997 : •Name and address of employer : European CommissionDelegation in Suriname • Type of business or sector: • Occupation or position held: Civil Engineering Adviser • Main activities and responsibilities: Principal projects: Guyana-Suriname Ferry Project Jenny-Ingikondre road (32 km) Oost-West verbinding (Main principle coastal road): 52 km +240 km Rehabilitation of the bridge on the Nickerie RiverRehabilitation of the port of ParamariboPROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE before recruitment by the Commission: From 15/06/1990 to 30/04/1992: MANINI SpA, Assisi (PG) Italy (prefabricated reinforced concrete structures): Branch Director for the province of Rome From 1987 to 1989: "Lodigiani (Nigeria) Ltd" Civil Engineering Contractors: Technical Manager in Lagos, Nigeria head office; Area Manager for the working sites in the of Nigeria, Abuja: Abuja National Mosque Abuja International Conference Centre Roads in the town of MinnaHotel of 100 rooms in Katsina From1983 to 1986: Alpha Consult, Rome: Technical director for infrastructure and rural development projects: Yedseram River Master Plan (Borno State, Nigeria) Hydraulic model of the Fibreno River (Lazio, Italy) Soil studies in Garoua and Maroua (Cameroon) Land conservation studies throughout Nigeria From 1981 to 1982: ICEC (International Civil Engineering Consultants), Rome: Road and water supply infrastructure projects in Nigeria: Road Loko-lga Okpaya (Benue State)Northern and Southern Parkways (Abuja) Conveyance of drinking water (Abuja) Monitoring of construction work of the "Forcados River Bridge" From 1980 to 1981: Italian cooperation: Assistant Lecturer to the courses of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering at the University of Lagos (Nigeria) EDUCATION AND TRAINING• Dates From ACADEMIC AND MILITARY TRAINING 1982-83: Pioneer engineering Military Academy, Cecchignola (Rome) 1975-80: Rome University: Doctorate in Civil Engineering - Hydraulic section (notation: 110/110) 1973-75: Perugia University: "Biennio Propedeutico di Ingegneria" 1968-73: Liceo Scientifico "Galeazzo Alessi" à Perugia: Scientific maturity (notation: 60/60)PERSONAL SKILLS AND COMPETENCESAcquired in the course of life and career but not necessarily covered by formal certificates and diplomas.MOTHER TONGUE Italian

The Rest @ecademy

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Who is Omar Suleiman, Egypt's New VP?

Cairo - Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman was sworn in as vice-president on Saturday, the state news agency reported, the first such post to be held in Hosni Mubarak's 30-year presidency."

Omar Suleiman has been sworn in as deputy to President Hosni Mubarak," news agency MENA said. Shortly afterwards, state television showed images of Suleiman, an army lieutenant general, saluting his close friend Mubarak after taking the oath of office.

Mubarak, who is facing a fifth day of violent demonstrations calling for him to go, has steadfastly refused to name a vice-president since he came to power in 1981.

  • Enigmatic figureSuleiman has been labelled the most powerful spy chief in the Middle East, and the sharply dressed and well-groomed general was for years a highly enigmatic figure for the world at large.
  • He is a trusted talks partner for both the United States and Israel, and has orchestrated a series of albeit short-live truces between Israel and the Palestinians over the last 10 years.
  • In 1995, Suleiman advised Mubarak to ride in an armoured car during a visit to Addis Ababa that shielded him from the fire of Islamist gunmen which killed the car's driver.
  • During the 1990s and following the botched Ethiopian assassination attempt, Suleiman joined the efforts of the CIA and other foreign intelligence agencies to crack down on Islamists, at home and abroad.
  • He also proceeded to target home-grown radical Islamist groups Gamaa Islamiya and Jihad after they carried out a string of attacks on foreigners that hit Egypt's vital tourism industry hard.

The Rest @ AFP

Omar Suleiman (Arabic: عمر سليمان‎; born July 2, 1936) is an Egyptian politician and military figure who has been Vice President of Egypt since January 2011.

Early life and education


Suleiman was born in Qena in Southern Egypt. He left Qena for Cairo in 1954, at the age of nineteen, to enroll in Egypt's prestigious Military Academy. He received additional military training in the former Soviet Union at Moscow's Frunze Military Academy. Furthermore, he holds bachelors and master degrees in Political Science from Ain Shams and Cairo Universities in the mid-1980s. Suleiman was transferred to military intelligence, where he began what was to be a long relationship between Egypt and the United States.

Egyptian intelligence career


Suleiman became the director of military intelligence in 1991. Suleiman became the chief of Egyptian Intelligence in 1993.

His name has become known only in the last years, breaking the tradition of keeping the name of the Egyptian head of Intelligence a secret known only to top government officials.

It was released in the media around 2000. Suleiman has acquired a more public profile while trying to broker a deal between the different armed Palestinian groups vying for power in Gaza as the top presidential envoy from President Hosni Mubarak as well as brokering deals or truces between the Palestinians and Israel.

His perceived role in negotiations between Palestinian groups gave him the image of an effective behind-the-scenes figure in the Egyptian government as well as identifying him as potentially useful to foreign governments such those of the Arab countries, Israel, the Palestinians and the United States.

Political role and accession to the Vice Presidency

Due to his role in the regional political scene and the lack of an alternative candidate acceptable to Hosni Mubarak, some have speculated that Suleiman will succeed Mubarak as President, or at least become a Vice-President.

On January 29, 2011, he was named vice-president during the civil unrest,[3] ending a vacancy in the position that lasted almost 30 years

The Rest @ Wikipedia
- AFP

Al Qaeda Tries to Leverage North Africa Unrest

DUBAI, Jan 28, 2011 (AFP) - Al-Qaeda has hailed Tunisia's uprising but also warned about an attempt to replace ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali with another "agent" of the West, the US-monitoring group SITE said on Friday.

"Your revolution was no ordinary uprising, rather it was a devastating earthquake that struck the throne of the tyrant Ben Ali... The criminal ran away in a very humiliating scene," Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said.

The United States "and France, with the infidel West, will not accept any real change that does not serve their interests in Tunisia. They are now busy planning to find an alternative agent who is acceptable to them," added the statement issued on jihadist forums on Thursday.

"France was the one that supported the tyrant Ben Ali until the last moment and supported him to the furthest extent, such that it even offered him its expertise in the field of oppression," AQIM charged.

The United States and France will "play the same dirty role in Tunisia in the future, unless the strikes of the mujahedeen... stop them," said the statement.

French officials frequently justified their support for Ben Ali because of what they deemed his effectiveness in fighting political Islam.

Paris had warm ties with Ben Ali's regime during his 23 years in power but made a U-turn after the authoritarian ruler bowed to popular protests and fled the country this month.

It was not until after Ben Ali was ousted that French President Nicolas Sarkozy backed the protest movement and the fugitive was denied refuge in France.

AQIM also criticised Saudi Arabia for hosting Ben Ali, SITE reported.
"He was given sanctuary... by the one who claims to be the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques," AQIM said of Saudi King Abdullah.

"If he had in his heart an ounce of passion for (Islam)... he would not have accepted to host on this pure land a criminal who was refused from all the nations."
Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it wanted to contribute to ending "bloodshed" in Tunisia by granting asylum to Ben Ali.

Riyadh has kept a blackout on Ben Ali's activities since his arrival on January 15 with six family members, after his ouster in a wave of protest in which dozens of people were killed.

by AFP

The Rest @ Zawya

Hamas Escapees May be Heading to Gaza From Egypt

Egypt riots escalate: The riots raging on in Egypt have spread into several prisons in the country Saturday, as at last eight detainees were reportedly killed in a jail holding political prisoners.

Prison guards reportedly fired live ammunition and tear gas in the northern Egypt prison as detainees attempted to stage a mutiny at the site, which also holds Muslim Brotherhood prisoners. Security forces were reinforcing their presence at jails throughout the country as result of the violence there.

Hamas sources have reported that a few Palestinian detainees have escaped Egyptian prisons during the unrest, and are making their way to the Gaza Strip.

  • Meanwhile, medical sources in Egypt confirmed that the overall number of fatalities in the riots raging in Egypt since Tuesday has reached at least 82 people.
  • Some 2,000 others were hurt in protests against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.
  • Full-fledged chaos had been reported at several regions of Egypt, as the masses crowd public squares, and banks, government buildings, and businesses are being looted.
  • In Cairo, some 1,000 protestors attempted to break into the Interior Ministry headquarters.
  • Al-Jazeera reported that police forces were attempting to disperse the demonstrators using live fire. At least three people were shot and killed in the clashes, the network said.

Looting an lynching

  • Overall, tens of thousands of Egyptians are demonstrating in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria, and according to some reports there is no security forces' presence on the streets.
  • Elsewhere, reports are coming in about the torching of government buildings, police stations, and security headquarters nationwide.
  • Some people have exploited the ongoing riots to settle the score with Egyptian business figures.

The al-Arabiya network reported a mass looting of businesses in the Suez area belonging to a prominent businessman, including a lynching at one of the sites.

Just like in Tunisia, reports are coming in of "popular committees" set up to prevent attacks on businesses and homes. Overnight, attempts were made to loot the Egypt National Museum.

Authorities in Egypt have declared that a curfew will be imposed in the country from 4 pm today to 8 am Sunday morning, yet enforcing it in the current atmosphere of total chaos seems a largely impossible task.

Egypt's business sector is attempting to minimize the damage, with trading in Cairo's stock exchange suspended following the massive 10.5% drop Thursday.

Local banks will not be operating Sunday for fear of looting, yet the country's Central Bank says that bank accounts are safe and that liquidity is not an issue.

According to a report by the Arab-language BBC Saturday afternoon, Egyptian army units were attempting to prevent protestors from breaking into the Central Bank in Cairo and looting it.

The Rest @ Y NetNews

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quintan Wiktorowicz New Obamma Counter Terrosim Advisor

Someone to Watch....

**********
There's a pattern to recent terror attacks in the United States: Americans — either citizens or residents — have been behind them. In the past two years, dozens of American citizens and residents have been arrested on terrorism charges.

In some cases, the suspects were young Muslims traveling overseas to train for violent jihad. In others, they're accused of actually trying to launch attacks. Attorney General Eric Holder said homegrown terrorism is one of those things that keeps U.S. officials awake at night.

'The findings that [Quintan Wiktorowicz] came up with based upon his work really shattered some of the stereotypes we have about Muslims and radicalization.'

- Christine Fair, expert on terrorism and radicalization

Now there is someone new at the National Security Council who won't be getting much sleep: He's a former Rhodes College professor named Quintan Wiktorowicz, and he's an expert on, among other things, how some people decide to become terrorists.

"A number of years ago, before he went into government, he did some of the most path-breaking work not only on who was susceptible to being radicalized, but most importantly, who was the most resistant to being radicalized," says Christine Fair, an expert on terrorism and radicalization at Georgetown University. "And the findings that he came up with based upon his work really shattered some of the stereotypes we have about Muslims and radicalization."
As part of his research, Wiktorowicz interviewed hundreds of Islamists in the United Kingdom. After compiling his interviews he came to the conclusion that — contrary to popular belief — very religious Muslims were in fact the people who ended up being the most resistant to radicalization.

Fair, who has done a great deal of work on radicalization in Pakistan, said Wiktorowicz's work stayed with her forever. "It really was revelatory for me," she says.


Revelatory because, as it turns out, Wiktorowicz found that it was people who did not have a good grounding in the religion who were the most likely to be attracted by radical Islam.

Peter Neumann is the director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King's College, London. He got to know Wiktorowicz in London three years ago. Wiktorowicz was at the U.S. Embassy there, studying how the British dealt with radical Islamists and then finding ways to apply those lessons to the United States.

While in the U.K., Wiktorowicz reached out to a wide range of Muslim leaders — from moderates to extremists — and that set him apart from scholars who had preceded him, Neumann says.
"He very successfully mobilized a broad coalition of very different people in London that all came together in order to oppose extremism and terrorism. No one else before has accomplished that."

It is also on this point that Wiktorowicz apparently ran into trouble. His coalition of Muslims was controversial because it included people some conservatives in Britain found too extreme. As Neumann sees it, that was part of the strategy: "Wiktorowicz's approach has quite deliberately been: 'I want the tent to be as broad as possible. ... As long as they are opposed to extremism and terrorism, I want everyone to be part of the coalition.' "

At the White House, Wiktorowicz's title will be senior director for global engagement at the National Security Council.

He's seen by terrorism experts as bringing so much to his new job that he could fundamentally change the way the Obama administration deals with Muslims in America.

Right now, counterradicalization in the U.S. largely depends on law enforcement — on things like FBI outreach to Muslim communities. The sheer volume of homegrown terrorism cases in the U.S. over the past two years makes clear that isn't enough, Neumann says.

"One of the important things about counterradicalization is that about perhaps 10 percent of it is law enforcement and intelligence, 90 percent of it are things that have relatively little to do with that," he says. "Counterradicalization also has to include things like politicians visiting Muslim communities, messaging" and beefing up education about Islam among Muslims themselves, so they can better resist radical recruiters.

How Wiktorowitz will apply what he learned in Britain here is unclear. His first official day of work at the White House is Monday.

The Rest @ NPR

Iraqi Soldier in Traning at Fort Hood Kills 2

A few days old but barely a ripple in the news. Obama may have rhetorically ended “combat” missions in Iraq, but he forgot to tell the jihadis. via US soldiers killed while training Iraqis – Yahoo! News. H/t Jihad Watch

BAGHDAD – Two U.S. troops were killed Saturday by an Iraqi soldier who apparently smuggled real bullets into a training exercise and opened fire, raising fresh concerns about insurgents worming into the nation’s security forces as the Americans prepare to leave by the year’s end.
A U.S. military official said the shooter was immediately killed by American soldiers who were running the morning drill at a training center on a U.S. base in the northern city of Mosul. The U.S. official said the exercise was not meant to involve live ammunition, and an Iraqi army officer said the shooting appeared to have been planned.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. A U.S. statement confirmed that two soldiers were killed and a third was wounded by small-arms fire by what the military described as “an individual wearing an Iraqi army uniform.”

“This incident occurred during a training event being conducted by U.S. forces as part of their advise and assist mission with Iraqi security forces,” the U.S. military said in a statement.
The Americans were not identified pending notification of next of kin, and the statement provided few other details. The U.S. troops were from the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based at Ft. Hood, Texas

The Rest @ Yahoo! News Via Creeping Sharia and Jihad Watch

South Sudan's Five Challenges

South Sudan finds itself at a complex crossroads, and Alex Thurston has written the most accurate and succinct analysis of the situation I have seen so far. Here it is.

- Shimron
***************
Attention is turning from South Sudan’s referendum on independence, which yielded a nearly unanimous “yes” vote, to South’s Sudan’s future. Here are five challenges the new country will face:

1. Borders

Even though North Sudan appears resigned to the South’s secession, the two countries will still have to agree on the precise border that divides them. One major piece of that puzzle is Abyei, an oil-rich region that was supposed to hold its own referendum and decide whether it would secede along with the South or remain with the North. Due to disagreements between North and South Sudanese leaders, Abyei’s referendum was postponed indefinitely. Verbal and physical conflict in Abyei (between the largely pro-secession Ngok Dinka farmers and the largely pro-unity Misseriya Arab pastoralists) punctuated the voting earlier this month.
Now that the voting is over, Abyei remains a “potential tinderbox.”

On the southern side, the secretary general of the ruling party, the Southern People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum, has said that if the Abyei referendum is not conducted, the only remaining option is for Abyei to be transferred to the south by presidential decree. On the northern side, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has said he will not accept Abyei being part of the south.

The Ngok Dinka say they fear that if they do not make their declaration before the votes are counted in the southern referendum, they will miss their chance to join the south.

The Ngok Dinka were ready to make their declaration before voting started on Jan. 9. But two high-level officials from the SPLM persuaded them to hold off.

The officials said a declaration before the referendum would give the north “an excuse to disrupt” the vote, said Juac Agok, deputy chairman of the SPLM in Abyei.
The SPLM is now asking them to wait until after July 9, when southern independence would formally begin.

But Agok said, “I don’t think it will be possible for me to convince the people of Abyei to wait.”
The seriousness of the situation in Abyei is so great that one analyst calls it “the key to South Sudan['s] stability.” Without a solution that both governments and the people of Abyei can accept, violence may escalate.

2. Oil

Oil is the primary driver of Sudan’s economy. The US Energy Information Administration says, “In 2009, according to the International Monetary Fund, oil represented over 90 percent of export earnings. For South Sudan (Juba), oil represented 98 percent of total revenues for the year compared to Khartoum at 65 percent.” The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 (which provided for the referendum) established a 50-50 revenue-sharing agreement between North and South, but now the two countries will have to negotiate a new agreement on revenues. Addressing issues like transparency, a report released in early January argued, will be key to establishing trust and peace between North and South, who must rely on each other when it comes to oil: Three-quarters of the oil is in the South, but the North has the pipelines and refineries.

In addition to this challenge, South Sudan has its own internal challenges when it comes to oil revenues: accusations of government corruption and continued poverty in the midst of rising government income threaten to increase public discontent with the Government of South Sudan. Fast growth has led to income inequality and a sense of chaos in Juba. South Sudan will have to use oil revenues carefully in achieving development and building a unified society.

3. Integration and Citizenship

Who is a citizen in South Sudan? With refugees and members of the diaspora returning from near and far, and with everyone in the new country pondering its political future, South Sudan will need to develop a basis for national integration, citizenship, and unity that relies on more than just opposition to the North. Maggie Fick captures this problem poignantly:

A Southern Sudanese told me that “the referendum is the only thing that united us southerners.”

He believes that one of the hardest tasks of the southern government in the coming years will be to create the idea of being a Southern Sudanese citizen—an idea that will arguably be foreign to many ofthese citizens.

After my friend made the above comment, he proceeded to give me an extensive history lesson on “the struggle,” speaking with pride and deep knowledge about the causes of the south’s two post-independence rebellions against regimes in Khartoum. He drew upon stories of battles fought in areas of the south that he has never visited but that appear vividly in his oral retelling of years of bloody conflict that eventually led to the south gaining the chance to decide its own destiny in a self-determination vote.

If this isn’t pride for a nation and in a group of people than I don’t know what is.
But the new Southern Sudan will be about more than the struggle of the past, and it will be a new struggle for the new country’s leaders to forge a path that includes not only those groups who fought in the war but also those people who were born in refugee camps in East Africa, who grew up in Nebraska, who studied at Oxford and who drive motorcycle taxis in Juba.

Picking the country’s name (it may well remain “South Sudan”), national anthem, flag, and emblem is a first step, but crafting national unity and integrating newcomers will take a long time.

4. Political Reform

This point is related to the last point. Along with building a sense of one nation, South Sudan will face the challenge of allowing multiple voices to speak. South Sudan will face international and internal pressures to move beyond the one-party model that allows the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to dominate.

The International Crisis Group’s Zack Vertin ably explains the issue:
The rebel movement turned governing party — the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement — dominates the political arena. Since the end of the war, opposition voices have suppressed grievances and taken a back seat to the SPLM so as to preserve the goal shared by all southerners — self-determination. But now that the vote has been cast, that common denominator is gone. When the jubilation of last week’s vote subsides, the political environment will slowly begin to transform. The current leadership must respond accordingly, recognizing that a genuine opening of political space is both necessary and in their long-term interest. They must find a way to equitably manage the South’s own diversity, lest they simply duplicate the sort of autocratic regime they’ve finally managed to escape.

Allowing political pluralism means more than just who wins at the ballot box – it also means addressing human rights issues (h/t Rob Crilly), managing dissent, and promoting positive relations between ethnic groups. None of that will be easy.

5. Development

South Sudan’s development challenges are wide-ranging and stark. A Reuters report from 2010 puts South Sudan’s predicament bluntly: “By many yardsticks, it is the least-developed place on earth: 70 percent of its people have no access to any form of healthcare, one in five women die in childbirth and one in five children fail to make it to their fifth birthday.” UNDP provides alarming statistics on education, disease, sustainability, and other issues in South Sudan. These problems are not just economic – they also threaten to undercut political stability. The worst outcome, as Rob Crilly says, would be for South Sudan, burdened by economic crisis and political failure, to join the world’s failed states.

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This list is not comprehensive, and I hope commenters will weigh in on these issues and others. What have I missed? What challenges do you see ahead for South Sudan?

The Rest @ Sahel Bog

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

JEM Captives Being Tortured by Sudan Government

Today, January 25, 2011, 13 hours ago SudanTribube.com
January 24, 2011 (NAIROBI) – The Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said on Sunday that its members captured earlier this month by the Sudanese authorities in western Darfur are being subjected to cruel torture, threatening the government of reprisal attacks against individuals implicated in the process.

Logo of Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement
On January 11, forces of the Sudanese government and its allied militias ambushed and captured a 12-strong unit of JEM in an area close to El- Geniena, the provincial capital of West Darfur State. The most high profile captive is Ibrahim Al-Maz Deng, who is JEM's secretary for coordination with southern Sudan.

North Sudan government accuses south Sudan, which is on its way to becoming a fully independent state, of giving sanctuary and support to some Darfur rebel groups. Minni Arkoi Minawi, the leader of the only rebel group to sign a peace accord with the government, defected from the northern government and relocated to south Sudan.

A press release undersigned by JEM's general commander Suliman Sandal and seen by Sudan Tribune said that the group's “reliable” sources in Khartoum had informed that the captives were being subjected to the “cruelest forms of torture” under the direct supervision of Brigadier-General Abdul Hafiz Ahmad Al-Bashir, the head of the interrogation department at Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

JEM's statement said that the captives were being interrogated under duress to elicit confessions in “a blatant violation not only of international and regional laws and conventions, but also of the provisions of the interim constitution and national laws.”

According to JEM, its prisoners were being transferred on daily basis from their cells at Kober Federal Prison in Khartoum North at 7 pm local time to a place known as the “oven” at the NISS headquarters and returned to their cells at 7 am the next morning.
The movement further claimed that the group's leader Ibrahim Al-Maz was being subjected to “special torture techniques departing from disgusting racist grounds.”
JEM warned the government that it had detailed information on the individuals involved in the torture process and would not hesitate to avenge the torture of its captives.

The Sudanese government already has a number of high-profile JEM members in custody, including the half-brother of the group's leader Khalil Ibrahim, who were arrested after JEM staged an attack on the capital Khartoum in May 2008. Sudan sentenced a large number of JEM prisoners to death but none has been executed, and the government uses prisoners as a bargaining chip in peace negotiations with the rebel group.

Rebel groups in Sudan's western region of Darfur rebels rose against the central government in 2003, accusing it of marginalizing the region in terms of development and wealth-sharing. A subsequent counterinsurgency campaign by Khartoum led to the death of 300,000 people and displacement of more than 2 million, according to UN figures.

The Rest @ Sudan Tribune

Scotfella: Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar is the godfather of Al...

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What is the Best Means for the world to Fall Under Islam?

The non Muslim world must understand that the aim of Salafi Islam is bring the world under the control of Islam. The only conflict occurs when discussing the means by which this must occur.
It is a matter of Roles, and who is to play which. There is no disagreement over if the roles discussed below are acceptable, including violent jihad.

"By means of this document we send a message to America and those behind it. We are coming, by the will of God almighty, no matter what America does. It will never be safe from the fury of Muslims. America is the one who began the war, and it will lose the battle by the permission of God almighty"


- Al-Qaeda statement, April 24, 2002 Source

Map from the World Islamic Mission Research Division- A salafi web site





The fundamental beliefe behind Salai islam is that the whole world will eventually come under the control of islam. They believe that it is the job of the faithful to work to this come to pass
Understand that they are all very clear that this will happen, and that they are bound to work toward an Islamist world.

What follows is a a 7 year old statement from Quintan Wiktorowicz explaining the conflict iside the Salafi movement over the best means for the whole world to fall under islam.

-Shirmron

*********

The 2002 statement is best understood as part of an ongoing debate about the use of violence in Islam. Al-Qaeda is a component of a broader "fundamentalist" community and as a result is actively engaged in debates about religious authority, the legitimacy of war and rules of engagement in combat. In the 1990s, most disputes focused on whether it was permissible to rebel against incumbent regimes in the Muslim world. Toward the late 1990s, this focus shifted to address the United States as an emerging enemy and the legitimacy of particular tactics in warfare against unbelievers.

The 2002 document is part of this latest debate and should therefore be understood as an argument that seeks not only to outline al-Qaeda's justification, but also address alternative, competing religious interpretations about acceptable violence in Islam.

DEBATING VIOLENCE
Al-Qaeda is a radical tendency within a broader Islamic movement known as the Salafi movement. The term Salafi is derived from the Arabic salaf, which means "to precede" and refers to the companions of the Prophet Muhammed. Because the salaf learned about Islam directly from the messenger of God, their example is an important illustration of piety and unadulterated religious practice. Salafis argue that centuries of syncretic cultural and popular religious rituals and interpretations distorted the purity of the message of God and that only by returning to the example of the prophet and his companions can Muslims achieve salvation.

The label "Salafi" is thus used to connote "proper" religious adherence and moral legitimacy, implying that alternative understandings are corrupt deviations from the straight path of Islam.

While Salafis all agree about the importance of the prophetic model and the paradigm of the companions, there are important interpretive differences that have engendered schisms within the movement, particularly over the proper method to create an Islamic society and protect the umma (Muslim community).

Differences in interpretation tend to emphasize one of the following four basic methods for promoting Islam:

1) Propagation (dawa). Salafis who focus on this method emphasize personal piety, cleansing the corpus of hadiths (reported sayings and traditions of the Prophet Muhammed), and spreading proper Islam. For this group, the priority is for individuals to practice a pure understanding of Islam. This entails not only propagation and individual piety, but a program to eliminate any weak or false hadiths so that Muslims ensure they are truly following the prophetic model.

2) Advice. A large number of influential Salafis and their followers believe that it is the responsibility of the ulama (religious scholars) to advise leaders about Islamic legislation and regulations. In general, however, they believe this advice should be given in private.

3) Non-violent action. Some Salafis believe that it is the duty of Muslims (particularly the ulama) to openly speak out against un-Islamic actions, decisions and public policy. This can include the use of the khutba (Friday sermon), open letters, public speeches, demonstrations and rallies.

4) Violent action. A small, radical fringe in the Salafi community argues that it is an Islamic duty to use violence to remove leaders who do not properly follow or enforce Islam. Known as jihadis, these Salafis do not reject the other methods, but they do emphasize the necessity of violence. Al-Qaeda is part of this group.

These differences have produced debates about the proper methodology for promoting Islam, leading to often vitriolic conflicts. Because Salafis believe that there is only one accurate understanding of Islam -- the model of the prophet and his companions -- this creates a tendency to dismiss any differences of interpretation as deviations.

  • It is quite common, for example, for one Salafi group to call scholars and followers from other clusters to "return to the straight path."
  • This has even generated disagreements over who can be considered a Salafi. In particular, non-violent Salafis, who make up the vast majority of the movement, often vehemently reject use of the Salafi label to describe the violent or jihadi elements.
  • The latter, however, identify themselves as Salafis and dismiss the other groups as misguided, ignorant (unknowledgeable about Islam) or corrupt.

The debate within the Salafi community over the use of violence has divided the movement more than any other issue.

  • During the 1990s, as al-Qaeda developed, the initial debate between violent and non-violent Salafis was over takfir -- declaring a Muslim an apostate. Declaring a Muslim an unbeliever is a serious endeavor, since it could mean a death sentence. The central axis of divergence was over whether one could judge a ruler in the Muslim world an apostate according to his actions.
  • Non-violent groups argued that one can never know with certainty what is in an individ-ual's heart and that so long as a ruler has a "mustard seed of iman (belief)," he is considered a Muslim, especially if he allows Muslims to pray and generally practice their religion.
  • The jihadi Salafis, on the other hand, argued that the oneness of God (tawhid) demands that Muslims follow Islam in both belief and action. In other words, an un-Islamic belief is just as revealing as an un-Islamic action. As a result, the jihadis charged the Saudis and other regimes in the Muslim world with un-Islamic behavior and thus apostasy, and called for a jihad to remove them.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

AQIM Says it Spreads its hostages out

It appears that The 7 hostages captured by AQIM in Mali have been separated and spread out to prevent a rescue attempt.

-Shimron

*******************************
Hostages held by al-Qaeda scattered: Mali source

Seven hostages, including five French nationals, held by an al-Qaeda regional offshoot have been scattered and are no longer in Mali, a Malian source close to the case said Sunday.

"The seven hostages have been scattered and are no longer on Malian territory. We are sure of that," said the source, who added that this was likely to make it more difficult to locate them.
"There are Malian and Niger people of goodwill trying hard to obtain satisfactory results. But it's not easy," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added.

The seven hostages -- five French nationals, a Togolese and a Madagascan -- were seized from Niger's uranium mining town of Arlit in September and later taken across the border into Mali.
Their abduction was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), whose leader warned France to pull its troops out of Afghanistan if it wants to see the safe return of five French hostages.

Francoise Larribe, one of the five, is suffering from cancer and had undergone chaemotherapy shortly before the kidnapping, according to her family.

AQIM in July killed a 78-year-old French hostage who was kidnapped in Niger after six of its militants were killed in a joint French-Mauritanian rescue bid.

In a tape broadcast on Al-Jazeera television last Friday, Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden bin Laden meanwhile said the release of French hostages depends on a pullout of French soldiers from Afghanistan and warned Paris of a "high price" for its policies.

[Osama Bin Laden suggested the two French Hostages in Afghanistan-it is not clear whether his ultimatum applies to the Mail captives...Shimron]


Two French journalists were seized along with three Afghan colleagues in December 2009 east of Kabul. Several other French hostages were seized last year in Niger in a kidnapping claimed by AQIM.

On the tape bin Laden, addressing the French people, said: "The refusal of your president to withdraw from Afghanistan is the result of his obedience of America, and this refusal is a green light to kill your prisoners."

He warned that French President Nicolas Sarkozy's stance would "cost him and you a high price on different fronts, inside and outside France."

The Rest @ AFP By way of Expactica

Canadian Mujahadeen Coming Home

This is a new undated unconfirmed report, but the details are worth recording if the names show up later.

-Shimron

************************************

According to a reliable source a group of Canadian militants is receiving jihadi training in Al-Qaeda camps in North Waziristan for terror attacks in Canada.

According to this report 12 Canadian men departed for Afghanistan last February and, after nine months, were dispatched by al-Qaeda to the Darpakhel area of North Waziristan in order to receive advanced training that include
  • using sophisticated weapons,
  • how to connect with local smuggling networks in North America
  • How to use ordinary material like sugar and basic chemicals to make powerful explosives

After completing their training these militants will return to their country to execute Al-Qaeda's plan of targeting big cities in Canada.

According to this report the 30-year-old Canadian head of the group converted to Islam in 2007, and goes by the alias Abu Shahid. Other members of the "Canadian cell" are:

  • Jeam Paull aka Sadiq Ullah
  • Leman Langlois aka Sana Ullah
  • James Richard aka Abdur Rehman
  • Otto Paul aka Abu Usman
  • Thomas aka Abdullah
  • Paul Gall aka Hafiz Ullah.

All are common English and French surnames, which fits a growing trend of young Europeans and North Americans converting to radical Islam and joining the jihadi ranks.

This report of the presence of Canadian Mujahidin in Al Qaeda camps in Waziristan is an additional indicator of the wide spread activity of Al Qaeda in its attempt to implement terrorist attacks on western soil. Since late 2008 , accumulated reports suggest that Al-Qaeda's Special Operations unit, responsible for Al-Qaeda's external operations (Outside Afghanistan and Pakistan, aka External operation unit), has been able to rehabilitate its operational capability and maintain, and perhaps even extend its activity in recruiting new operatives, providing designated training for terrorist operations and plotting attacks in the international arena.

According to several reliable sources dozens of western citizens (some reports suggests the number exceed 100) have received training in the unit's camps in Waziristan during 2008-2010.

Furthermore, during 2009-2010 at least four significant plots to conduct spectacular attacks in the international arena , initiated by Al Qaeda special operation unit using western citizens or residents , were exposed. Among those plots are:

  • Vinace Brian plot to target LIRR in New York.
  • Najibullah Zazi plot to target New York Subway system.
  • A Plot to target commercial centers in North West England.
  • A Plot to target western facilities in Norway.

Traditionally Canadian citizens or residents have always been sought after by Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda special operation unit in particular. These activists possesses of western mentality and life style which ease their day to day handling during preparations for attacks period on western soil.

In addition as holders of Canadian passports these activists enjoys freedom of transfer and movement around the world and draw less security attention. Within this frame work at least two Canadian citizens were involved with Al Qaeda special operation plots:

  • Mahmud Mansoor Jabara was supervising on behalf of Al Qaeda special operation unit ( personally picked for the job by Osama Bin Laden and Khaled Sheikh Mohamed )
  • a joint plot of Al Qaeda and Jamm'a Islamiah (JI) to attack western facilities in Singapore using truck bombs in Early 2002.
  • Abd Al Rauf Jdey was probably selected by Al Qaeda special operation unit to conduct a suicide mission. His martyr video was found among the wracks of the house of Abu Hafs Al Masri , Al Qaeda military chief at that time.
  • Reliable sources within Al Qaeda claim that Jdey eventually conduct a suicide mission that cause the crash of American Airline flight 578 from JFK to Santo Domingo using explosive hidden in his shoes on November 12 2001.

In light of this report it seems that the Canadian operatives are in the final stages of their training in Waziristan and are about to enter the next phase – reentering their home country and begin preparation for attacks - shortly.

The Rest @ CEIFT

North Sudan Reports Alignment in South Sudan Defense Forces

By Ngor Arol Garang

January 21, 2011 (ABYEI) - A top military officer from South Sudan's army, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), on Friday denied media reports that they have signed an agreement with an armed militia group in the regional capital of Juba earlier this week.

On Wednesday, the Khartoum-based Arabic daily, Al Ahram, reported that a political agreement was inked on in Juba between the SPLA and the militias of South Sudan Defense Forces, saying the latter was represented by Ashwang Arop.

However, colonel Phillip Aguer Panyang, spokesman of the Sudan People's Liberation Army in an interview with Sudan Tribune from the regional capital of Juba on Friday denied knowing any armed group called south Sudan defensive with which they have signed an agreement.

"No, we did not sign any agreement with any armed group this week. I am also not aware of the existence of any armed group called South Sudan Defense Forces. Who did they say was their leader?," asked Aguer.

The military officer said there are media in the north accustomed to manufacturing false information and conflicting reports against the Government of South Sudan, since it was formed in 2005.

  • The SPLA became the south's official army as part of a 2005 peace deal, which ended decades of civil war between north and south.
  • As part of the deal the south has just completed a referendum, which is expected to see the south separate from the north to form a new nation by July.
  • Many in the north are not happy that the oil-rich south is separating.
"There are media are in the north accustomed to manufacturing false information and conflicting reports against the government of south and the Sudan People's Liberation Army. This is one of them. They say anything without proof just to cause confusion with intention to create conflict," said Aguer.

He called on the media to be responsible and seek clarifications on unclear information and reports from concerned authorities before rushing it out to the public.

"There seems to be no responsible media in the north. They appear to have lost ethnics. Their reporting does not show any sense of responsibility. They are always bias in their reports about South Sudan and particularly when it comes to issues concerning SPLA," said Aguer.

The officer said a responsible media should always conduct proper verifications of any information obtained from their sources. "A responsible media must conduct proper verifications of any information they received from their sources before publishing it."

In 2006 the SPLA and SSDF signed the Juba declaration incorporating the SSDF into the SPLA, which under the peace deal was the only legal army in the south.

As part of the deal Paulino Matip became the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA.

The Rest @ Sudan Tribune

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Styron Trading had an aircraft in Berbera Somalia

Styron Trading UAE, had a S9 DBQ aircraft located at Berbera Airfield in Novermber and/or December 2008. It is likely the enginer was replaced by one stolen from an aircraft in Uganda...

This bears further investigation....

According to this Uganda Court document, 2008 in a rulling by V.F. Musoke Kibuuka,
Judge, 12.9.08. an aircraft beloning to Stream Aviation was grounded in Uganda by the civil aviation authority for an extended period of time.

Somehow, they got wind that the aircraft's engine was stolen, and was about to be installed into a S9-DBQ plane owned located at the Berbera airfiled in Somalia.

The plane was alegedly owned by Styron Trading, UAE (Registered in the Democratic Republic of Sau Tome). It is likely the plane was at Berbera in Novermber and/or December 2008.

Further, TBDA suggests that Volia Subnet 93.73.72.128 out of Kiev, Kyyivs'ka Oblast', Ukraine, was looking for the the Styron Trading plane by tail number "an-12 5342802 somalia", specifically looking for its connection to Somalia on 19th January 2011, 12:10


-Shimron

Here is a summary of the complaint
***********************************
In brief, the background, as set out in the averments accepted by court, appears to be that the applicant company, STREAM AVIATION LTD, is a company duly incorporated in France. It was carrying on civil aviation business in Uganda.

  • It had an office at Entebbe Airport and had a running contract for Cargo transportation for the UPDF.
  • In Uganda the applicant operates one Antinov aircraft, AN.12BK, registration, 4L-ELE, serial number 5342802.
  • The aircraft is leased by the applicant from its owner, VARTY PACIFIC INC., a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, but with its registered office in Shargah, United Arab Emirates.
  • The Lease Agreement is annexed to the affidavit in rejoinder.

The allegation in the statement of facts was that on 5th July, 08, the aviation Police of Entebbe Airport grounded the applicant’s aircraft which was undergoing routine repairs.

  • Since that time, the applicant has not been allowed access to it or completing the routine repairs or using the aircraft.
  • That decision of the respondent, according to the applicant, has led to it suffering loss of business earnings amounting to US$700,000, by the time of filing the application, but which has since continued to escalate.
  • The affidavit in reply by Mr. Matsiko Ssenyonga does not deny the allegation that the applicant’s plane was grounded by the respondent on 5th July 08.
  • it states, instead, that on 1st August, 08, the respondent received a complaint from one Anatoliy Lovin, director of Styron Trading Incorporation in the United Arab Emirates.

The complaint was to the effect that the applicant’s aircraft was suspected of being fitted or about to be fitted with stolen aviation engines belonging to an airplane of S9-DBQ belonging to Styron Trading Incorporation registered in the Democratic Republic of Sau Tome but which was, at the time at the airfield of Berbera in Somalia.

Mr. Matsiko avers that the Aviation Security in liaison with the military agreed to ground the aircraft until the complaint was resolved.

The Managing Director of the respondent had directed Mr. Matsiko to deal with the matter as he seemed appropriate. Mr. Matsiko also averred that the applicant did not own the aircraft as it had no lease agreement.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Al Shabaa Claims it will retake Mogadishu

Insurgent group al Shabaab has made a dramatic statement, one day after Somalian Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed said the government, allied with the international community, has the ability to eliminate the threat posed by militants.

In a press conference in Mogadishu, Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Rage, the spokesman of the al Qaeda-inspired group, described the government’s comments as a "dream."

Rage said the fight is between al Shabaab and the transitional federal government of Somalia, which has international support. “The [United Nations Security Council] special meeting on Somalia in New York was a forum in which Somali government officials were begging for infidels,” Rage said.

He called on Somalis, already exhausted from civil war, to "get ready" for new combat with the Somali government, vowing al Shabaab will retake Mogadishu.

Rage also criticized local media, saying that they were spreading news about al Shabaab that was baseless and false. He called on the people to not believe the reports.

Al Shabaab’s statements come as the Somali prime minister stated in an interview with Voice of America that it is in the interest of the international community to help his government eliminate the threat posed by the insurgents. He warned that failure to do so will create a haven for terrorists, including al Qaeda, in Somalia.

The Rest @ AHN

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ali Akbar Tabatabaei Commander of Iran's Quds in Africa

Here's the backstory to some of the recent and not-so-recent stories at Atlas (the media continues to ignore Islamic genocide and religious cleansing of non-Muslims) by Muslim hordes slaughtering Christians in Nigeria (scroll and click on links). Just this past Christmas, five bombs went off in the Nigerian city of Jos as residents were celebrating Christmas Eve, leaving 31 dead, and hundreds wounded.

A trial due to open in Nigeria at the end of the month is set to disclose embarrassing details of an extensive arms smuggling operation run by Iran's Revolutionary Guards to supply guerrillas in West Africa.

A key defendant in the trial, which is due to start in Abuja on January 31, is Azim Aghajani, an Iranian national who has been identified by intelligence officials as a senior officer serving in the Qods Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Aghajani faces charges relating to the seizure of a cargo of weapons hidden in 13 shipping containers at the Nigerian port of Apapa, in Lagos, in October.

The weapons, which included rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and assault rifles, had been concealed in a cargo of construction materials and were discovered following a tip-off by the CIA to Nigerian security officials.

Nigerian officials claim the containers were dispatched by the Qods Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the unit responsible for supporting overseas Islamist militant groups.

The Iranians used a French based shipping group to transport the weapons cargo, which was intended for distribution among a number of Islamist militias in Nigeria and other rebel groups in West Africa.

They included the "Hisbah" Islamist militia, which is seeking to impose Sharia law in the north Nigerian province of Kano, and rebel groups fighting for control of Nigeria's lucratic oil revenues in the Nile Delta. Nigerian officials claim some of the weapons were also destined for rebel groups based in Senegal and Gambia.

"This was a sophisticated operation undertaken by Iran's Revolutionary Guards to destabilise a number of governments in West Africa," said a Western security official who has been closely involved in the case. "It is a major diplomatic embarrassment for Tehran at a time when Iran claims it seeks to improve relations with countries in the region."

Two Iranian citizens claiming to be businessmen sought refuge in the Iranian embassy immediately following the seizure of the weapons, sparking a tense diplomatic stand-off between Iran and Nigeria.

Intelligence officials in Nigeria established that the two Iranians were senior officers serving in the Qods Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who were named as Azim Aghajani and Ali Akbar Tabatabaei, who is described as the commander of Qods Force operations in Africa.
  • Iran made secret representations to the Nigerian government to allow the arms shipment to be returned to Iran, together with the two Revolutionary Guards officers.
  • When the Nigerians refused Manoucher Mottaki, who was then serving as Iran's Foreign Minister, made an emergency visit to Abuja in November during which he persuaded Nigerian officials to release Tabatabaei, who was allowed to fly back to Tehran on the Foreign Minister's private jet.

Tabatabaei is now understood to have been redeployed to Venezuela to oversee Iran's intelligence operations in Latin America.

But the Nigerian authorities insisted that Aghajani must remain in Abuja and face trial on arms smuggling charges.

Prosecution officials predict all the details relating to Iran's involvement in the arms shipment will be revealed during the trial of Aghajani, who was earlier this week granted bail by the trial judge until the end of the month.

Read the rest here. @ Atlas Shrugs

Money Laundering Update

A review of FATF news shows that Argentina has not made adequate progress in preventing money laundiering from known sources, and new payment methods (NPM) are being abused more frequently as traditional measures close up.

The full report of FATF’s third mutual evaluation of Argentina (and second joint FATF/GAFISUD evaluation of Argentina) is now available for download, the executive summary was published on 5 November 2010. Since the last evaluation, finalised in June 2004, Argentina has not made adequate progress in addressing a number of deficiencies identified at that time, and the legal and preventive AML/CFT measures that are in place lack effectiveness.

Download the report (2.3Mb)

This report is builds on the 2006 Typologies report on New Payment Methods (NPMs). Since 2006, there has been a significant rise in the number of transactions and the volume of funds moving through NPMs. Consequently, the number of discovered cases where such payment systems were misused for ML/TF purposes has also increased.


This report compares the "potential risks" described in the 2006 report to the "actual risks" based on new case studies and typologies. The report also describes a number of indicators of suspicious activity. These red flag indicators will help NPM service providers and other financial institutions to detect ML/TF activities. The report describes the challenges presented in developing appropriate legislation and regulations for NPMs and the different approaches taken by national legislators and regulators.


The New Payment Methods report is the result of analysis of questionnaire responses and publications about NPMs as well as input by relevant private sector representatives such as NPM service providers, including the


  • Internet payment sector,

  • the mobile payment sector

  • prepaid card technology providers.

The report will be made available on the FATF website within the next few weeks.






The Rest @ FATF

Kenya's William Ruto Defnds Himslef at the Hague

William Ruto recently made a trip to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, which is investigating 2007 Election violence that killed 1300 people in Kenya. He is running for president, and apparently believes himself to be a target in the ICC investigation.

The most important note in this story is that these details of this story was published as an original story in the Garowe online, a Somali News site. This site usually produces accurate details of events, a ballanced view, with both pro and anti Islamist commentary.

-Shimron

**********************************************

Former Higher Education Minister, William Ruto Jetted back in the country from The Hague where he had gone to see the International criminal Court (ICC) investigators over his role in the 2007 post-election violence.

Mr Ruto’s plane touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 8.10 AM after it had earlier been diverted to land at Mombasa’s Moi International Airport due to poor visibility.

On arrival, Ruto, said he used the trip to The Hague to share with ICC investigators what he knows about 2007 post-election violence.“I used the opportunity to share my point of view and the information that I have on issues ICC is investigating in our country,” Ruto said. “As part of that responsibility, I thought it was prudent to share with the investigators what I knew on the issues relating to the violence in our country,” he further added.

Ruto jets back from The Hague as ICC investigators in Kenya get ready to interview security officers who served in areas that experienced the election violence that killed more than 1300 people and displaced thousands.
  • Ruto wrote three letters asking for an appointment with Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, and on the last letter he was given audience
  • The suspended Minister told journalist that he presented his position in post election Violence in writing and in tapes.
  • Ruto blamed the Kenya National Human Rights Commission and The Waki Commission which mandate to investigate on what caused the violence and who funded it, for not giving those adversely mentioned in their reports an opportunity to respond to issues raised.
  • The suspended minister also took a swipe at some lawyers and politicians whom he accused of perpetrating falsehoods in Waki and KNHR reports by recruiting, coaching and giving money to witnesses.
  • He wondered why ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo chose to take off to London when he was aware that he would be at ICC yet he was the one who revealed to journalists that a senior cabinet minister had written a letter to ICC requesting to see him.
  • It is understood that besides clearing his name, he wants the Sh 96 million case and another one in an Eldoret Court resolved by April Next year so that he can concentrate in his Presidential campaigns .
  • The case will be heard from January 24, next year.

The Rest @ Garowe Online (out of Somalia)

Al Shabaab Blocks Roads into al Bakara Market to Stop Defections

Mogadishu (Mareeg)-Unidentified dead bodies were seen early on Sunday morning at the Industrial Road (Jidka-Warshadaha) in the capital Mogadishu, residents said.
The dead bodies were two old men who were seen laying on the road after daybreak prayer at frontlines between Islamist militias of Al-shabab and the African union peacekeeping forces, in particular Burundians those have a military base there, reports said.

No one could exactly confirm who have killed these old men and no one identified them yet.

The killing of these men comes as Islamist militias of Al-shabab were reported to have cut off two main streets through war zones around Bakara market that old, and poor people who are not able to pay bus-fares used to go to their homes on foot passing the risk ways there.

Al-shabab forces refused people to use those ways for a fear of their militias surrendering to Somali government pass those streets, a porter in Bakara market told Mareeg this morning.

People in the capital, in particular those who usually go to Bakara market and search for their daily bread face dangers from warring groups in Mogadishu.

The Rests @ Mareeg

Venezuela remains interested in Manuel Silva-Jaramillo

Folowing Visit comes 23 hours after same search by CATV Venezuela searching for info on Manuel Silva-Jaramillo. this is a new visitor.

IP Address: 200.82.243.36

ISP: Internet Cable Plus C. A.

Entry Page Time: 16th January 2011 16:23:53

Visit length: 0 secondsBrowser:

IE 8.0OS: WinXP Resolution: 1024x768

Location: Lecheria, Anzoategui, Venezuela

Entry Page: http://shimronletters.blogspot.com/2010/01/venezuela-interest-in-manuel-silva.htmlExit Page: http://shimronletters.blogspot.com/2010/01/venezuela-interest-in-manuel-silva.html

Referring URL:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CCYQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fshimronletters.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F01%2Fvenezuela-interest-in-manuel-silva.html&rct=j&q=manuel%20silva%20jaramillo&ei=dxszTfj5GcT6lweso5ytCg&usg=AFQjCNEvCQvViCyvplIvD1UUG0LPVDl16A

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Leaders Captured by Milita, Given to goS

2:08 AM (20 hours ago)
Darfur JEM says government forces captured some of its officials

from Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan by SudanTribube.com
January 15, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said that government troops ambushed its forces and managed to take into custody a number of its senior officials.

"Three days ago, a mobile administrative unit belong to JEM was touring the villages of Abu Jurouj, Bir Saliba and Garji Garji in west Darfur, close to El Geniena city. The unit was ambushed by a government force and its associated militia" said a statement by the rebel movement and signed by its military spokesperson.

JEM said it fought its way through the ambush but that some of its members " lost their way and were captured by militia affiliated to GoS " [government of Sudan]

"The militia bargained for a ransom from JEM in the same way they do against their western captives and ended up handing over their captives to GoS".

It gave the name of the captives as

1. Commander Al Maz Deng, Deputy President of JEM and Secretary for Southern Sudan Region.
2. Sir Gibriel Tia Kuku, Political Advisor to the President of JEM
3. Mahjoub Jazouli Izzalarab, Deputy Head of JEM Administration and Organization, Darfur Region.
4. Abdalla Abdalla Hasan
5. Yahia Abbaker Musa
6. Abdalla El-Tom Abdalla
7. Yahia Babikir Daldoum
8. Musa Omer
9. El Rasheed Ahmed
10. Mohamed Balla
11. Ibrahim Adam
12. Abdalla Khamees

"These heroes are now prisoners and are entitled for treatment in accordance with international conventions. JEM expect them to remain safe and will not hesitate to retaliate, if mistreated by their captors" the rebel group said.

The Sudanese army confirmed the incident saying that it transferred a number of JEM figures to Khartoum after being arrested west of Jebel Moon after a chase that lasted for 67 km North of El Geniena

Last month, JEM clashed with Sudanese army south of El-Fasher, historic capital of Darfur and was reportedly joined by other rebel groups including one that has signed a peace agreement with Khartoum.

The Rest @ Sudan Tribune

What Happens NExt in Tunisia?

The Tunisian Revolution does not appear to be the work of Islamists or a military coup. A
Series of events Begining December 7th appear to have led to a social media-fueled near spontaneous protests in the street. When the military refused to fire on the protesters, The president fled.

However, political leaders who were in exile plan to returne Tunisia for presumed elelctions. Of note is Sheik Rachid Ghannouchi of the al Nadhar party, with an islamist agenda. Note also that Al Qaeda in Magharebia (AQIM) has pledged support for an ismalist uprising that may occur in the future.

-Shimron

***************
(from TIME) 16/1/2011

Tunisia appeared to tip towards all-out chaos on Sunday evening as fierce gun battles exploded in the heart of the capital, with the military attempting to root out thousands of well-armed militia loyal to the ousted dictator Zine Abidine Ben Ali. Two days after Ben Ali abandoned his 23-year rule and fled the country, forced out by an extraordinary month-long popular revolt, the street battles topped a tautly tense weekend, in which the country seemed perched between armed conflict and near-normality.

As sun set on downtown Tunis, machine-gun fire exploded on the streets outside my hotel, amid office and apartment buildings, cafes and train stations. Shortly before, soldiers had ordered hotel guests inside and cordoned off several blocks of the city center, before unleashing a no-holds-barred battle with the armed militia prowling the streets.

  • The battle began with small arms fire and was then followed with the sound of heavy automatic fire.
  • One hour into it, police aligned with the military burst into the rooms of hotel guests, ordering us to close curtains, for fear of attracting the attention of military snipers hanging from the open doors of two helicopters circling overhead.
  • Masoud Ramdhani of Tunisia's League of Human Rights said by telephone that the military was attempting to corner about 3,000 of the 6,200 of Ben Alis well-armed Presidential Guard still not arrested.
  • The gunfire around the hotel only began to die down towards 8 p.m., two-and-a-half hours after it had begun. Meanwhile, wire reports had a fierce battle taking place in front of the presidential palace in Carthage, about 10 miles away.

Earlier in the day, while the sun was out, calm and chaos seemed to be competing for primacy the capital. On one block, a group of six small boys kicked a football around an empty street, laughing; and on the next block, police hauled away three armed militia, after being alerted by locals who suspected that the trio were harboring caches of weapons.

While men crowded into the sole barber shop open in downtown Tunis, teenage boys in the Montplaisir neighborhood erected a barricade to protect their street from looters and gunmen.

Food has grown increasingly scarce as mass protests and strikes have shut almost all businesses.

Crowds gathered outside the few stores that dared unlock their metal shutters and sell essential items like bread and orange juice.

It is still uncertain how this Jasmine Revolution, as it is dubbed in the Tunisian media, will unfold. Whatever government is formed will need to amend Tunisia's constitution to allow banned political parties to contest an election — a basic demand of the masses of protesters.

Since yesterday, opposition parties, for years were barred from challenging Ben Ali, have been in talks with the interim president Fouad Mebazaa, their closed-door discussions focused on how to form a temporary unity government to run the country until they can organize democratic elections.

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi said on state television that the new government would be announced on Monday. Mebazaa, who had been parliamentary speaker, the constitutionally designated next-in-line to the presidency, had been hastily sworn in as head of state 24 hours after Ben Ali fled (a loyalist of the dictator served for only one day in between).

But elections will still be a problem even if a unity government is put in place. The constitution mandates that one must take place within 60 days. But officials have said they are more likely to need six months to organize.

After decades of one-party rule, there is a dire shortage of political talent at home; and several major contenders for leadership have been in exile for years.

Reached by phone in Paris on Sunday, Moncef Marzouki, a physician and leader of the Congress of the Republic, a secular liberal party, said that he planned to return to Tunis on Tuesday, after more than 10 years as a refugee. Despite excitement over Ben Ali's overthrow, Marzouki said he was still uncertain whether he would be permitted to organize his party freely. "I am afraid that the dictator has left, but the dictatorship system is still there, and there is still repression."


Another factor in Tunisia's future is its major militant Islamist leader, Sheik Rachid Ghannouchi, head of the banned al-Nadhar party, who was exiled to London in 1988. By phone on Sunday, Ghannouchi said he has not yet booked his ticket home, but plans to return "soon," perhaps within weeks. "After more than 20 years of absence I will have to have time to reorganize our movement," he said, adding that he does not intend to participate in the elections.

The sheik has said previously that he would like to see a far more conservative Islam take root in Tunisia, which is remarkably secular, with numerous beach resorts featuring scantily clad women. His impending arrival prompted one group of Tunisians to post a Facebook site on the weekend, vowing to greet Sheik Ghannouchi at the airport wearing bikinis.

Indeed, the revolt which drove Ben Ali from power found little inspiration in Islam, in stark contrast, say, to the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

  • The uprising began on Dec. 17, after a 26-year-old computer science graduate Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight, after police ordered him to stop selling vegetables on the street; he had been unable to find a job in his profession.
  • When Bouazizi died shortly after from his burns, the country erupted in a seemingly spontaneous mutiny against Ben Ali, mobilizing giant protests and strikes through Facebook, Twitter and mass-distribution text messages on mobile phones.
  • They stormed into the street to demand a change of leadership, defying Ben Ali's iron-fisted rule.
  • Last Friday it became clear that Tunisia's professional Army, which has fielded hundreds of soldiers in U.N. peace-keeping missions around the world, would not fire on protesters in order to protect the president.
  • Within hours, Ben Ali and his family fled, leaving the country in turmoil.

Ordinary citizens, however, seemed to be rooting for the restoration of normality and civic life. Across Tunis, locals appeared to join the military's efforts to restore order.

  • Fares Bouslimi, 40, a philosophy professor in a city high school, took a plastic bag from his home, and began clearing the debris from Avenue Habib Bourguiba, the boulevard where hundreds of thousands of people protested last Friday outside the Interior Ministry building, a spectacle that finally drove Ben Ali out. "This is sacred ground," Bouslimi told me, explaining why he opted to spend his Sunday morning cleaning the street, despite the fact that soldiers were perched atop tanks along the avenue, ordering people not to walk outside. "This is a true revolution," he said, "like the French Revolution or the American Revolution."
  • In the studio of Tunisia's most popular radio station Mosaïque FM on Sunday, Ibrahim Letayef, a journalist and film maker, called the past month's events a digital revolution, much of it fought by educated, middle class youth whose seething frustration at unemployment, corruption and repression drove them into the streets, toppling Ben Ali. "He saw the way the street was going, and he chose to save himself," said Letayef. Then, his mobile phone beeped: it was one of the many anonymous text messages he and thousands of other Tunisians have received during the past month, which helped organize the revolt.
  • After weeks of upheaval, in which stores, schools and universities have been shut, and streets have been emptied of regular traffic, this text message was not a rallying cry to join in a mass protest. Instead, it said: "For the love of Tunisia, conquer your fears and return to work. Please pass on this message."

The Rest @ Time

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Life Under Al Shabaab in Somalia

Picture this

  • All functioning government outside of your local home town leaders disappears.
  • A local kid, who has been off to college in Saudi Arabia or Egypt comes back and says that he will set up local law according to Sharia (Islamic Law) an elder from another town is appointed "judge"






  • He says that He will need a local security force of police/military to maintain order.


  • (Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys and Mukhtaar Abu Mansur Robow,

  • Your city is in severe draught, and your local-son-leader demands that every one bringing food or any aid of any kind must pay a $5000 per year registration fee, and 20% of all the food the aid agency brings in goes to Him - (in reality he keeps 50%)



  • He brings in military "consultants" from outside to train up his new security force. These are foreigners trained by al Qaeda.






  • In exchange for training the security, the al Qaeda consultants set up training camps for other foreign fighters in your town.






  • The town leaders are told that they must pay a tax, and that they must offer up their daughters as wives for the foreign fighters that have come to your town.




  • Every so often, the security force gathers up all its fighters and goes into the capital, where many are killed or captured. Each time they come back to your town.
  • Sharia law is strictly enforced, like the cutting off hands, and the stoning of young women who report rapes by Mujahdin.
  • Soon, every male of 13 years or older gets "drafted" in the the local militia, and there is no one to plant the crops, and the drought gets worse.

    (child soldier chewing the Narcotic plant Khat)


Some of you kids are sent of to be suicide bombers in other towns

This same thing is happening in every cluster of small towns in your part of the country. Your Young children are starving, your older children are serving as mujaheddin or "wifes" of Mujaheddin.

You just try to hold your family together. More and more foreign fighters come, and less and less food arrives.

  • If you find you are a Sufi Muslim, that your faith has been declared heretical. Taliban like laws keep women oppressed.
  • Your local police leader ( al Shabaab) sends some of your kids out to surrounding areas and countries to commit bombings. These are aimed at spread this form of government, the one you currently enjoy.

There is no way out unless some outside force comes in and does it for you.

This is life under Al Shabaab
-Editor












-Shimron










Five Moroccan soldiers On Trial for Arms Trafficking to AQIM

Five Moroccan soldiers will face trial for allegedly taking bribes from arms traffickers and allowing them to smuggle weapons into the country, Interior Minister Moulay Taieb Cherkaoui said on Wednesday (January 12th) at a Rabat press briefing.

"These soldiers helped smugglers introduce contraband goods in exchange for sums of money, without ever checking the nature of these... smuggled products, that were often carried on camels' backs," the ministry said.

The arms were reportedly supposed to be used by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The soldiers were serving in Amghala, where last week security forces dismantled a 27-member terrorist cell and uncovered three weapons caches.

According to the ministry, the cell's Moroccan ringleader aimed to set up an al-Qaeda base in Morocco and send recruits to AQIM training camps in Algeria and Mali. Members of the terrorist group were reportedly planning attacks on security services and bank robberies to fund their activities.

The minister also commented that Morocco is increasing its vigilance in the fight against terrorism and the security services are on a constant lookout to ensure that planned manoeuvres by terrorists with links to AQIM come to nothing.

An arsenal that included
  • 33 Kalashnikovs,
  • two rocket-propelled grenades (RPG),
  • a mortar and 1998 Kalashnikov ammunition was shown to journalists at the press meeting.

With the announcement of the break-up of the Amghala cell, observers stressed that Moroccan security services need to monitor the porosity of the borders.


For his part, political analyst Mohamed Darif thinks the involvement of soldiers in facilitating the smugglers' activities is nothing new. Morocco has previously arrested security officers caught up in cases of smuggling and drugs trafficking, particularly in the north of the country.

"What is new is the smuggling of weapons. But I do not think that these soldiers, as the minister has pointed out, were quite aware of the content of the cargo. They thought these were goods which did not represent any danger for the security of the country," the expert said.

According to security analyst Mohamed Benhemmou, the information provided by the interior ministry confirms the link between AQIM and transnational crime cells.

"Al-Qaeda uses the full logistical capabilities of organised crime. We must also resist any tendency to discount criminal activities because, when faced with terrorism, we must stamp out transnational organised crime. We find ourselves in a situation where there is intense co-operation between terrorism and smuggling of all kinds, even though the objectives are not the same. Al-Qaeda has ideological and political intentions, while the smuggling networks have economic and financial objectives," he said.

The news stirred mixed reactions among ordinary citizens, with some expressing concern over the terrorist threat and others showing scepticism about the information coming from the state.

"The number of cells which have been broken up proves that Morocco is being targeted. Up to now, the police have been able to thwart a number of terrorist threats. But trouble could come at any time, despite our vigilance, because terrorists are unpredictable," teacher Salah Eddine Machidi told Magharebia.

"Sometimes there is doubt about the real involvement of people who are arrested over acts of terrorism. Our fear is that innocent people are being incriminated without any evidence," said Hassan Bouchama, adding that the government doesn't release enough information about the cells.

This content was commissioned for Magharebia.com.

The Rest @ Magharebia