TEL AVIV, Israel — The government of Iraq is secretly holding a Baathist cabal of military officers it claims attempted a coup against Prime Minister al-Maliki.
The plotters were rounded up July 5 with the help of American military authorities after the Iraqi government's security warning center sent word to Mr. Maliki, who was in Kuwait on his first official visit as head of state, two highly placed Iraqi sources said.
The prime minister quickly canceled a scheduled trip to Amman, Jordan, and returned to Baghdad to attend to the matter. At the time, Mr. Maliki's staff told reporters that the prime minister was cutting his trip short because of Iraq's "security situation."
In an interview last night, an adviser to Mr. Maliki and a member of parliament in Baghdad, Mithal al-Alusi, said a coup attempt indeed took place last month. He said the mutinous attempt to replace the elected government of Iraq was organized by military officers loyal to Saddam Hussein.
"The Baathists were trying to have this coup, and people have been arrested and it has been stopped. There have been a lot of rumors as to who is behind this," Mr. Alusi said, referring to speculation that the plot may have involved a former interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, whose men worked with the CIA in 1995 to oust Saddam in a military coup.
But Mr. Alusi said Mr. Allawi was not behind the coup attempt. "I have seen the file and their pictures and I can say that this is not Ayad Allawi. These people were in the system, but they are not well-known," he said.
Mr. Alusi first went public with news of the attempted coup in an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat on July 30. Baghdad has been abuzz with speculation about such a rebellion for at least three weeks.
One idea they are considering is to bring large numbers of people, rather than a few activists, to the Hizbollah strongholds of south Lebanon or south Beirut to try to protect them or draw attention to the plight of civilians there.The "once they come up with a strategy" part cracked me up.
So far, activists who have shown up in Lebanon from the United States and Europe are part of an exploratory group, but Shapiro believes they can attract hundreds more, including from Arab states, once they come up with a strategy.
In the last year, 15 states have enacted laws that expand the right of self-defense, allowing crime victims to use deadly force in situations that might formerly have subjected them to prosecution for murder.Welcome to the Wild West. I think you'll find it a surprisingly civil and agreeable place.
Supporters call them “stand your ground” laws. Opponents call them “shoot first” laws.
Thanks to this sort of law, a prostitute in Port Richey, Fla., who killed her 72-year-old client with his own gun rather than flee was not charged last month. Similarly, the police in Clearwater, Fla., did not arrest a man who shot a neighbor in early June after a shouting match over putting out garbage, though the authorities say they are still reviewing the evidence.
The first of the new laws took effect in Florida in October, and cases under it are now reaching prosecutors and juries there. The other laws, mostly in Southern and Midwestern states, were enacted this year, according to the National Rifle Association, which has enthusiastically promoted them.
Florida does not keep comprehensive records on the impact of its new law, but prosecutors and defense lawyers there agree that fewer people who claim self-defense are being charged or convicted.
The Florida law, which served as a model for the others, gives people the right to use deadly force against intruders entering their homes. They no longer need to prove that they feared for their safety, only that the person they killed had intruded unlawfully and forcefully. The law also extends this principle to vehicles.
In addition, the law does away with an earlier requirement that a person attacked in a public place must retreat if possible. Now, that same person, in the law’s words, “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.” The law also forbids the arrest, detention or prosecution of the people covered by the law, and it prohibits civil suits against them.
Forty-six percent of Americans surveyed blame Israel and Hezbollah equally for the conflict, whereas 39 percent blame Hezbollah alone, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released late Monday.
The poll found Americans nearly evenly split on whether Israel's intense bombing of Lebanese targets to eliminate Hezbollah's ability to launch rocket barrages against Israeli targets was justified.
In the poll, 47 percent said Israel was justified in its bombing campaign, against 48 percent who were opposed.
Fifty-five percent said Israel should halt its attacks only if Hezbollah disarms first, while only 35 percent thought Israel should agree to an immediate, unconditional halt to fighting.
On Israel's tactics, which have drawn widespread criticism for heavy civilian casualties in Iraq, those polled were split: 35 percent said Israel was using about the right amount of force, 32 percent said it was too much force, and 22 percent said it was not enough force.
Even so, 54 percent of the people surveyed said Israel should do more to avoid civilian casualties.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. authorities are searching for 11 Egyptian men who arrived in the United States last month but failed to turn up at Montana State University for a scheduled academic program.I hope there's an innocent explanation. Unfortunately, we're probably going to find out the hard way that these 11 gentlemen should not have been admitted into this country.
According to the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, the men were among a larger group of students who arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York from Cairo on July 29 with valid visas.
FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko said there is no threat associated with the men.
A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the men are between 18 and 22 years old.
The official said the government probably will seek to send the students home once located because they have violated the terms of their visas.
University officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The majority of the Israeli Defense Force’s ground-troop casualties, both infantry and armored, were the result of Russian-made anti-tank units of Hezbollah, according to intelligence sources quoted by Haaretz daily.
The same sources note that these units have not retreated from southern Lebanon following the deployment of large Israeli ground forces in the area.
The Hezbollah anti-tank teams use a new and particularly potent version of the Russian-made RPG, the RPG-29 that was sold by Moscow to the Syrians and then transferred to the Shi’ite organization.
The RPG-29’s penetrating power comes from its tandem warhead, and on a number of occasions has managed to get through the massive armor of the Merkava tanks.
At first Israeli inquiries that Russia was transferring modern anti-tank weapons to Syria and on to Hezbollah were received with anger. The Russians demanded proof that this had been done.
Contrary to common practice, Israel transferred to Russia the tail-end of a rocket for analysis. The Russian response was that in the absence of a serial number it was difficult to identify it as part of a load delivered to Syria.
Israel believes Hezbollah also has an advanced anti-aircraft missile, the SA-18, from Iran, the paper adds. It is particularly lethal against helicopters, and even though none of the missiles have been fired against Israeli Air Force aircraft, the flights over Lebanon are taking the necessary precautions.
CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader said in a new videotape aired Saturday that an Egyptian militant group has joined the terror network.
It was the first time that al-Qaeda has announced a branch in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation. The Egyptian group, Gamaa Islamiya, is apparently a revived version of a militant group of the same name that waged a campaign of violence in Egypt during the 1990s but was crushed in a government crackdown.