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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Make Weapons Grab in Libya

Islamist groups took advantage of civil unrest and seized a weapons depot in Derna, on Friday, 18 February and weapons at at port in al-Baida. The Islamist Weapons Inventory in Libya: first count based on news reports.
  • 70 military Vehicles
  • 250 weapons
  • Rpg
  • 3 anti-aircraft guns
Study this 11 month old video for faces of current Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) members. This group, an Al Qaeda affiliate are allegedly instrumental in the Derna-al Baida Islamist power grab. The group, after al qaeda pattern, has Ideclared the "Islamic Emirate of Barqa.

The Son

Shimron



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



Islamist gunmen have stormed a military arms depot and a nearby port in Libya and seized numerous weapons and army vehicles after killing four soldiers, a security official says.

The group also took several hostages, both soldiers and civilians, and is "threatening to execute them unless a siege by security forces is lifted" in Al-Baida, the official told AFP on Sunday, asking not to be named.

"This criminal gang assaulted an army weapons depot and seized 250 weapons, killed four soldiers and wounded 16 others" in the Wednesday operation in Derna, which lies east of Al-Baida and 1300km from Tripoli.

"Army Colonel Adnan al-Nwisri joined them and provided them with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, three pieces of anti-aircraft artillery and 70 Kalashnikov" assault rifles, the source said.

On Friday, he said they attacked the port in Derna and seized an assortment of 70 military vehicles.

It was not immediately clear who the civilians were or where they had been taken hostage.
The group calls itself the "Islamic Emirate of Barqa" after the ancient name of a region of northwest Libya, and the official said its leadership is made up of former al-Qaeda fighters previously released from jail.

The official said the same group was responsible for the hanging of two policemen in Al-Baida on Friday that was reported in Oea newspaper.

Justice Minister Mustafa Abdeljalil started negotiations late on Saturday for the hostage-takers to release their captives, he said. "But we will not negotiate over Libya's integrity under any circumstances."

According to Human Rights Watch, at least 23 people have died in Al-Baida since Tuesday in clashes between security forces and protesters against the four-decade rule of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Over the past five years, Libya has freed around 850 prisoners from different Islamist groups, 360 of them since March.

Among those released were jihadists with ties to al-Qaeda's Iraqi and North African franchises, including senior members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) such as its chief Abdelhakim Belhaj.

In November 2007 al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri allegedly said the LIFG had joined his network, in an unverified audio recording posted online.

But the Gaddafi Foundation headed by Seif al-Islam, son of Gaddafi, said in 2008 that Islamists held in Libyan prisons and previously linked to al-Qaeda had renounced their ties.

LIFG was formed in the early 1990s in Afghanistan by Libyan militants who took up arms against Soviet occupation forces. Its stated aim is to overthrow Gaddafi's regime and establish an Islamic state.

The group was led from central Asia by Abu Laith al-Libi, a top lieutenant of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, until his killing in February 2008 in a US missile attack in Pakistan.

In March 2006 Libya released 84 jailed members of the country's banned Muslim Brotherhood movement held since the late 1990s.

Fifty-five of those freed returned to Benghazi, Libya's second largest city and reputed opposition stronghold that has been the scene of some of the deadliest anti-regime clashes over the past week.

In 1998 Libya arrested 152 Brotherhood members. In 2002 two members were sentenced to death, 73 to life in prison and 66 were acquitted, while the others were handed 10-year jail terms.

Those condemned, mainly students and academics, were accused of supporting or belonging to Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya al-Libiya, an Islamist group whose beliefs mirror those of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

The offenders are generally charged with violating Libya's Law 71, which bans political activity opposed to the principles of the 1969 revolution in which Gaddafi took power.

Evicting Libya's monarchy, Gadde afi has since ruled the country with an iron fist, imposing an ideology inspired by socialism and Islam that he presents as the ultimate evolution of democracy and is enshrined in his "Green Book".

The Rest @ AFP

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Charges Against the Iran Arms Traffickers in Nigeria

On 17 July 2010, Nigerian officials captured 13 containers of arms marked as "glass and straw" in Lagos, Nigeria; the weapons came from Iran, a well known France-based Quds front company, and were likely aimed for the Nigerian Taliban in Northern Nigeria. Iran has intervened at the high levels, including sending visitors to Nigeria. Azim Aghajani, commander of Quds in Africa was originally arrested, but was released when Iranian Officials Visited Nigeria.
The UN is conducting its own investigation.

What follows are the charges for the remaining two people in captivity. It appears one of the detainees has written a statement.

-Shimron


Lagos (WorldStage Newsonline)-- Justice Okrchukwu Okeke of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday admitted in evidence a state by one of the two persons, Alli Abass, Jega been trial by the Federal Government for allegedly importing thirteen container loads of firearms in tow the country from Iran.

According to the judge the accused person made the statement to the State Security Service (SSS) voluntarily.

The two men, an Iranian, Azm Aghajani and Jega, a Nigerian clearing agent were arrested last year after the arms were discovered at a port in Lagos.

It will be recalled that when the prosecuting counsel, Mrs. Olufemi Fatunde attempted to tender the document as exhibit the Thursday, Jega’s lawyer, Aliyu Musa Yawuri objected on the ground that the document sought to be tendered was not admissible in law.

The development forced the presiding judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke to adjourn the case to Friday for ruling on the admissibility of the document.

Ruling on the objection, Justice Okeke held that the document was admissible in law because the statement was voluntarily made by the second accused.

According to Justice Okeke; “it would have been a different matter if not voluntarily made, and his lawyer, Yawuri, did not deny that his client made the statement.”

Also during the proceedings Aghajani’s lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) on Friday accused the SSS and the lawyers handling the prosecution of frustrating his efforts to defend his clients adequately by refusing to make available to him, many of the documents he intends to use in defending his client, despite repeated demands.

He stated that one of such documents was a computer print-out of an e-mail message sent to Aghajani, by Jega.

Uche also accused the SSS of denying him access to his client, stressing that this constituted another dimension of frustration.

But an attempt by Uche to move a bail application for his client was turned down by the judge, who insisted that the matter was slated for the conclusion of the prosecution’s witness testimony.

The court, however, adjourned till March 7 for hearing of bail applications.
According to the three-count charge: the accused were in

  • count one accused of importing thirteen container loads of firearms, which was prohibited under Part 1 of the Schedule to the Firearms Act, Cap F.28, laws of the Federation, 2004.
  • count two, the accused persons were alleged to have imported the firearms without licence contrary to Section 18 of the Firearms Act, Cap F.28, laws of the Federation, 2004 and punishable under Section 27 of the same Act.

  • count three, the accused were said to have recklessly made a false declaration of the firearms as glass wool and pallets of stone on the Original Bill of Lading. The offence, according to the charge, is contrary to Section 161 (1) (a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap C45, laws of the Federation, 2004.


The crime was allegedly committed on July 17, 2010.

The Rest @ World Stage

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sudan- 200 Killed in SPLA - George Athor Battles

February 16, 2011 (KHATOUM - JUBA) – North Sudan's army has denied accusations of supporting insurgents in South Sudan with the intent of destabilizing the region ahead of its formal independence in July this year.

Clashes erupted last week between South Sudan's army, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), and militiamen loyal to its renegade general George Athor around the towns of Fangak and Bor in Jonglei state. Southern officials said more than 200 people, including civilians, had died as a result.

The attacks raised concerns about the future of South Sudan which is being groomed to become formally independent in July this year after it massively voted for secession from the north in a referendum last month.

In a press conference on Wednesday, the minister of peace and implementation of the 2005 peace deal that granted the South the right to secede, Pagan Amum, said the Government of Southern Sudan was not overwhelmed by insecurity in South Sudan.

Amum, who also serves as the SPLM's secretary general, said that the situation was being managed and accused Sudan's ruling the National Congress party (NCP) of arming the militia groups such as the forces of George Athor in Jonglei state and Gabriel Tanginya (AKA Tang) in Upper Nile.

  • Amum said Athor's militias were also supplied with arms by the National Congress Party in Khartoum to destabilize South Sudan.
  • He warned the NCP against the strategy of destabilization of the two soon-to-be independent states of North and South Sudan.
  • Amum said the Government of Southern Sudan was ready to receive and integrate into its organized forces all the rebelled forces and militias, in the region in order to achieve security and stability.
  • North Sudan's army has denied the south's accusations, claiming it was a cover-up of the South's support of Darfur rebels.

In a statement released to the press on Wednesday, the official spokesman of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa'ad, said that the SPLA's accusation come as a “justification” of the South's unlimited support to Darfur rebels who continue “up to this moment” their rebellions from bases they setup southward of 1956 border.

The 1956 border strip marks the North-South borders as they stood when Sudan declared independence from British-Egyptian condominium rule in that year.

North Sudan has consistently accused the south of supporting rebels in its western region of Darfur, where an eight-year conflict between government and ethnic rebels killed more than 300,000 people and displace 2.7 million since it erupted in 2003.

Minni Arkoi Minawi, who is the only Darfur rebel leader to have signed a peace accord with Khartoum in Abuja in 2006, is currently based in the South.

The SAF's statement asserted that it was committed to refrain from supporting any insurgency in neighboring countries, whether in the south or elsewhere, saying that the area from which Athor launches his operations was geographically remote from the North-South border.

Athor broke ranks with the SPLA and led a rebellion in the south since he lost gubernatorial elections in the Unity state to the SPLM's candidate in April last year.

In the same vein, Pagan Amum claimed that Tanginya and his forces came from Khartoum in January with trucks full of weapons and ammunition. He said according to NCP, Tanginya defected from them with the vehicles and weapons, but added that the trucks had traveled from Khartoum to South Sudan's Upper Nile state without being stopped on the way.

In Upper Nile Tanginya's forces form part of the Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) created after the 2005 peace deal. JIUs consist of elements from the Khartoum-controlled Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Southern army (SPLA).


However, instead of using regular forces for the SAF contingent of the JIUs in Upper Nile many of the soldiers were taken from Tanginya's militia, which sided with Khartoum during the North-South civil war.

As the South approaches independence JIU's are due to be disbanded and the SAF components moved North.

Late last year Tanginya signed a peace deal with the Southern government, agreeing to integrate his forces into the SPLA. However, many of Tanginya's units remained as the SAF contigent of JIU's in Upper Nile and in early February in fighting between his men in Malakal and others areas caused tens of deaths.

The fighting is believed to have broken out between rival groups within the Tanginya's forces, with some wanting to remain in the South, while others wanted to follow the order they had received to move North.

The clashes, reportedly left his forces in control of many bases of the Northern SAF's JIUs.


The Rest @ Sudan Tribune

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sudanese Women Call for Release of Detainees

February 13, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – A group of Sudanese women on Sunday demonstrated for the second time in a row this week in the capital Khartoum, demanding the release of dozens of detainees held in custody since anti-government protests erupted last month.

Around thirty women whose relatives and sons have been held in detention since the authorities forcibly dispersed anti-government protests on 30 January gathered outside the premises of Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) amid heavy police presence.

The protesting women held placards bearing the pictures of the detainees and slogans calling for their freedom, claiming that they had received reports of them being tortured.

Rabah Al-sadiq said they received information about the torture of the detainees. "We heard they are being sprayed with water and electrocuted," Rahab Al-Sadiq, the daughter of Sudan's former Prime Minister and leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), told AFP on Sunday.
According to Rabaha, the authorities are holding more than 70 protestors.

A similar protest occurred last Friday but the women were quickly contained by the police who briefly detained some of them as they marched towards NISS HQ, including Mariam Al-Sadiq, a leading figure in the NUP and also daughter of Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi.
This time, however, the protestors managed to deliver a petition to the NISS demanding that the detainees be freed immediately or charged formally.

The NISS director-general Mohamed Atta Al-Moula met them and pledged to release the detainees on Monday. Nuha Al-Nagar, from the opposition Umma Party told reporters that they decided to suspend their protest to Monday to see whether the security service would respect their promise of not.

Last month's protests were organized by youth groups inspired by the toppling of regimes in Tunisia and Egypt through the use of online media, mainly Facebook. However, the organizers barley managed to assemble few hundreds who were forcibly dispersed by the police using teargas and batons.

The police also arrested dozens in the process, besides eight journalists from the Al-Midan of the opposition Communist Party.

The Sudanese police also broke up today another protest by dozens of journalists gathered outside the National Council for Press and Publications, in Khartoum, demanding the release of detainees from the staff of media outlets and newspapers.

The police seized cameras from journalists who wanted to cover the event, and prevented them from raising any banners demanding the release of their colleagues.

The protesters handed a letter to the press council demanding to secure the release of the detained journalists and to exert more efforts to ensure the respect the freedom of expression for the press.

The ousting of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak on Friday after weeks of mass protests in Egypt further encouraged other Arab nations to stand up to their abusive rulers.

The secretary general of the council El-Obeid Ahmed said the security service told them the journalists of the communist daily are held for activities not related to their profession.

The Sudanese government, which welcomed the “triumph” of the Egyptian revolution, dismissed the possibility of a similar scenario in the country, attributing the downfall of Arab regimes to their alliance with Israel and the U.S.

Sudan is a major cooperator with the US administration in counterterrorism despite being on its list of countries sponsors of terrorism.

The Rest @ The Sudan Tribune

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ahmed Ali Hussein, 44, Executed by Al Shabaab

Somalia's Shabaab executes 'US spy'2011-02-01 07:46

Mogadishu - Somalia's al-Qaeda-inspired Shabaab militia publicly executed a man by a firing squad after accusing him of spying for the United States, the insurgents said on Monday.

Ahmed Ali Hussein, 44, was gunned down late on Sunday at one of the rebels' camps in the north of Mogadishu.
  • The group said Hussein had been spying for the CIA in connection with a probe to find the perpetrators of the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa.
  • "We know so many people who claim to be Muslim scholars while spying on the Muslims. We will catch them and execute them in front of you like this man who confessed to have been working with the American intelligence agency," said Ali Mohamed Hussein, a Shabaab official.
  • The Shabaab control large swathes of territory in the south and central Somalia and have imposed a strict brand of Islamic laws, with offenders often flogged or executed in public.

The Rest @ SAPA News24

Thursday, February 10, 2011

AQIM threats to kill Mauritanian president for his ties with France - Ennahar | Africa Live News

AQIM threats to kill Mauritanian president for his ties with France - Ennahar Africa Live News

Al Qaeda Moves Deeper into Africa

No new news... Al Qaeda is increasingly moving their efforts South and West to their outposts in the Sahel (AQIM) Yemen and Somalia....

-Shimron


Terrorism experts say the world has every reason to be concerned about terrorism in 2011 and beyond. They say al-Qaida may be slowly dying in Afghanistan, but its tentacles around the world live on in very remote areas.

They also say frustration among the poor in the Middle East and Africa could lead to new ethnic and political conflicts. The turmoil, they say, could embolden al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb popularly known as AQIM in that region. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb grew out of an Islamist insurgency movement in Algeria, merging with al-Qaida in 2006 and spreading through the Sahara and the Sahel region.

Ronald Noble, secretary-general of the police organization Interpol, has said those portions of Africa along with Somalia may become the next Afghanistan for al-Qaida.

Former CIA official and counter-terrorism expert Charles Allen says the recent turmoil in the Sahara and Sahel could further embolden al-Qaida, because it could see the unrest as a result of its own campaign.

"They have appealed continuously, whether it is in Yemen or in North Africa, that there are impoverished communities and then there are wealthy oligarchs who control the masses. This is a long standard ideological campaign that has been relatively effective," he said.He says al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM, along with its affiliates in Yemen and Somalia, has been using this region as a breeding ground for its activities."It functions as an umbrella organization for a disparate collection of Sunni Muslim terrorist elements determined to attack what they see as apostate regimes in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and Morocco.

The bulk of AQIM forces are located in southern Algeria, northern Mali and Mauritania," he said.Morocco’s ambassador to Washington, Aziz Mekouar is more concerned about the Sahara region in particular because it is now being used by drug traffickers to smuggle drugs to Europe. He says AQIM is trying to take advantage of the situation.

  • "We see these Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers using West Africa and the Sahara region to covey drugs to the European markets. That is very dangerous.
  • You will see in the future a combination of al-Qaida, drug traffickers, and human traffickers," he said.
  • He says the countries of the region should come together to stop this activity and prevent al-Qaida from exploiting the situation.
  • Last year, Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger set up a joint headquarters in southern Algeria to coordinate anti-terrorism efforts.
  • The four countries' army chiefs met to establish a joint strategy against al-Qaida.

Allen says the focus in 2011 should be to make it more difficult for the al-Qaida leaders to recruit the unemployed and frustrated youth. That, he says, will require cooperation on a global scale to push for political and social reforms and poverty reduction. It will also require, he says, a global effort to educate the younger generation what he calls the real Islam that he says teaches that killing one person means killing all of humanity.

the Rest @ VOA

al Shabaab moves Jihad into Bihororo Burundi

Bujumbura, Feb 8 : Burundian police have arrested eight Pakistani Muslim preachers in a mosque in the central province of Gitega, according to police and local officials.

A group of eight people calling themselves Pakistani Muslim preachers arrived two days ago and started holding unauthorised meetings, day and night, in the Bihororo mosque," the Daily Times quoted local official Alexis Manirakiza, as saying.

"Residents became suspicious at the presence of these foreigners in a remote area at a time when there is a terror threat from Somali rebels and they informed the police," he added.

A police officer said on the condition of anonymity that all the eight were travelling to the African nation on Pakistani passports."

We're investigating to find out exactly who they are and what they were doing in this part of the world without informing the security services or the administrative authorities," the officer said.

The arrests came less than a week after the US Embassy in Burundi warned its citizens in the central African country that terror organisations, including Somalia's al Qaeda-inspired Shebab, could carry out terror attacks in February.

Security measures have been stepped up in Burundi since last week, with soldiers and police patrolling the streets of the capital.

The Rest @ ANI , via Jihadwatch

Friday, February 04, 2011

Italian Tourist Kidnapped in Algerian

Algiers – The Algerian APS news agency said on Friday that an Italian tourist had been abducted by suspected Islamic militants in the North African country’s remote southern desert.

The woman had been heading towards the southern town of Alidena when militants armed with automatic weapons began following her in all-terrain vehicles.

The group captured the tourist but released her guide and cook.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, is active in the area and has often abducted foreign tourists.

The Rest @ Indepth Africa.com

Iran Nigeria Arms Traffickers Aquitted, Rearrested

ABUJA - An Abuja Magistrate’s Court yesterday discharged and acquitted Aliyu Wamakko and Mohammed Umar who were accused of importing arms from Iran into Nigeria.

The accused, who are clearing and forwarding agents, were accused of using a clearing agency, Jedo Clearing and Forwarding, to ship the arms into the country in 2010.

The Magistrate, Hafsat Soso also struck out the suit against two other accused in the suit, Abbas Usman and one Iranian, Azim Aghajani on the request of the prosecutor, Mr. Moses Idakwo, that the case be re-assigned to a Federal High Court.

Usman and Aghajani, who were earlier discharged by the Magistrate’s court, were re-arrested and taken back to custody, pending their prosecution at the higher court.

The four persons were arrested and charged to court in October 2010 for illegal importation of arms and ammunition to Nigeria.

Counsel to the second accused who was discharged, Mr. Chuma Ajaegbu, described the case as a fair trial, saying that his client was acquitted due to lack of evidence and involvement in the shipment.

The UN inspection team, which visited the country last week, commended Nigeria for the manner by which it handled the issue and recommended it as a model to other West African nations.

The Rest @ Nigerian Observer News