daily archive: 08/15/2005
Former Russian Atomic Minister Still In Swiss Jail
Former Russian atomic energy minister Yevgeny Adamov, who is accused of fraud, must remain in Swiss custody pending a decision on his extradition, Swissinfo news agency reported yesterday.Adamov remains in Swiss custody
The Swiss Federal Criminal Court on Thursday turned down two appeals by Adamov to be set free.
Adamov, who has been in detention since May, is the subject of two extradition requests―one from the US and the other from Russia.
Adamov is accused by the United States of laundering some $9m in nuclear remediation funding sent by Washington to Russia between 1993 and 2003.
The court in Bellinzona also ruled that there was no evidence to suggest that the US proceedings had been initiated for political reasons, the agency reported. Regarding the Russian extradition request, the court's judges found that Adamov had no immunity on Swiss territory.
It is now up to the Federal Court in Lausanne, which is Switzerland's supreme body, to make a basic ruling on the two extradition demands.
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American life makes people freaks, says terrorist freakazoid
Jihad Trial Transcript Bemoans Effects Of Living In U.S. - from TBO.com
TAMPA - Ramadan Shallah was looking forward to leaving the United States.
``Running around in this country, even staying in it, transforms people into freaks,'' he wrote in a March 21, 1995, fax sent to Fathi Shikaki, the secretary general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Heh. I can attest to that.
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An ominous message to Canada?
Ted Byfield: American sends us an ominous message
Now here's an odd thing -- very important, I would think, to anybody doing business in Western Canada, or for that matter to anybody interested in the increasingly bizarre conduct of the government at Ottawa.
Late last month, a full-page article appeared in the National Post over the signature of Harvey M. Sapolsky, director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In it, he frankly warned that if Canada "continues its international meddling at our expense and forgets its geography," then the U.S. will have to let Canada "know where its economic prosperity originates."
"Canada is easy to squeeze," observes Sapolsky. "Military trade preferences for Canada should end. The tag-along trips and combat observation opportunities should stop."
These might be "small steps," but if Canada continues doing what it's doing then further steps involving "even greater costs for Canada" should be taken.
Sapolsky spells out the American concern. It's not that "anti-Americanism is the unstated essence of the modern Canadian identity." This might have occasionally "irritated" some American officials, but by and large "no one much cared what Canada said or did."
But in certain areas, this anti-Americanism began to take dangerous form. He cites two examples: 1. Canada's aggressive promotion of the treaty prohibiting the use of land mines, which are necessary to protect American bases in hostile areas.
2. Canada's equally aggressive promotion of an International Criminal Court to prosecute the perpetrators of the kind of evils done in Rwanda and Bosnia. President Bill Clinton refused to send it to the Senate because he saw that the treaty could be used by anti-American powers to prosecute American peace-keepers.
These treaties "intentionally undermine America's military equities" and "seem to represent a deeper and more dangerous decision by Canada's foreign policy establishment to lead the international effort to hobble the American military."
Americans "should not tolerate Canada seeking a leading role in the global coalition to thwart American power needed to protect U.S. citizens and interests."
"Canada has given up on warfare," he observes. Forty years ago it virtually abandoned its responsibilities in NATO long before the Berlin Wall fell.
It "briefly sought an international reputation in peacekeeping, but greatly tempered this initiative after disastrous experiences in Somalia, where its troops misbehaved, and in Rwanda, where its leadership was ignored. Today Canada spends only about 1% of its GDP on national defence."
Since the U.S. will defend the continent with or without Canada's assent, "Canada can afford to do this, though the U.S. cannot."
Now the odd thing is this. Sapolsky's article appeared on July 27, 11 days ago. It shows little regard for the tender sentiments of Canadians and tramples brutally on some of our most cherished delusions. Yet Ottawa has not rushed to answer it. Ordinarily they would have prompted some academic to write an immediate rebuttal article. But none has appeared. Neither has there been any editorial rejoinder.
Now this is either because they consider the article beneath notice, or because they take it so seriously they don't want to call attention to it.
I tend towards the second explanation. This was no mere op-ed piece. MIT's security studies group will have close connections with the U.S. State and Defence Departments, and it's altogether probable that they approved the article. So it's a missive just below the diplomatic level.
Furthermore, one region of the country most vulnerable to American economic reprisals would be western Canada, particularly Alberta. But we're not the only ones. Ontario and Quebec are vulnerable too. Sapolsky points out, for example, that "billions" of dollars in U.S. defence spending go to Canada. About two thirds of the U.S. Army's latest combat troop carriers are made in this country.
Surely therefore it would well behoove the Alberta government to quietly draw to the attention of Americans that the West elected neither the Chretien nor the Martin governments.
In fact, we've done everything constitutionally possible to throw them out. So the Americans might focus punitively upon Ontario industry.
They're the people who keep putting them. in.
Moreover, when it comes time for big Ontario to thump Alberta again, via its over-riding hold on Ottawa, it would be good for Alberta to have an ally that could thump Ontario even harder.
Man, does that sound harsh or what.
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Did Hastert Take Turkish Bribes To Deny The Armenian Genocide?
Democracy Now! | Did Speaker Hastert Accept Turkish Bribes to Deny Armenian Genocide and Approve Weapons Sales?
Former FBI translator turned whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds is now appealing her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In March 2002, she was fired and she has been fighting now for nearly 3 years to blow the whistle on US government failures prior to 9-11. She has faced fierce opposition from the Bush administration, the FBI and some in Congress. This week, she grabbed headlines again after Vanity Fair published a major story about her. What is making news from that piece are allegations surrounding Illinois congressman and Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
Vanity Fair alleges that Hastert may have been the recipient of tens of thousands of dollars of secret payments from Turkish officials in exchange for political favors and information. In the article, titled "An Inconvenient Patriot," Edmonds says that she gave confidential testimony about the payments to congressional staffers, the Inspector General and members of the 9/11 Commission. Edmonds says that she heard of the payments while listening to FBI wiretaps of Turkish officials who were under surveillance by the FBI.
His price was apparently half a million, if this is true.
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points out that he hasn't been heard from since December, 2004, while Zawahiri has issued forth four tapes.
U.S. intelligence analysts say last week's videotape of Al Qaida
leader Ayman al Zawahiri did not contain any new information. "It is consistent with previous audio/video statements by Zawahiri and Bin Laden," one analyst said.
Osama bin Laden with Al Qaida's top strategist and second-in-command
Ayman al Zawahiri in 2001.
Zawahiri has issued four audio/visual statements this year. Before this, the most recent broadcast surfaced on June 17. The fact that Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden has not been heard from since December 27, 2004 is raising new questions about the Saudi terrorist's state of health.
Bin Laden stated in the December Broadcast that Abu Musab al Zarqawi is the "emir" of Al Qaida in Iraq. Since 9/11, Bin Laden has appeared in 10 audio or video reports and Zawahiri has been in 10.
Analysts say the statements have three goals. First, they provide inspiration to Jihadi terrorists by showing that the leaders are still alive and connected. Second, they target psychological operations. The latest Zawahiri tape said terrorists have targeted British and Americans. Third, they can act as a signal to operational elements in Al Qaida to finalize preparations for an attack.
Intelligence officials are divided over the current state of Al Qaida. Some officials believe Bin Laden and al Zawahiri continue to exercise direct operational control of its cells. Other officials believe the group has been damaged severely by the arrest, capture or killing of its leaders. As a result, Al Qaida is limited to conducting the type of smaller scale attacks seen in London last month.
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Unrests In Kurdish Iran Continues
Unrest has rocked Iran’s northwestern region of Kurdistan in recent weeks leading to the deaths of more than a dozen civilians and several members of the country’s security forces.Unrest in Iran’s Kurdish Region Has Left 17 Dead; Hundreds Have Been Wounded
The protests are the largest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, when Kurdish rebels seeking autonomy fought government forces. Last Sunday, shops in more than a dozen Kurdish towns closed their doors to protest what Kurds regard as discrimination by the government in Tehran and hundreds of people were arrested.
Human Rights Watch reported that 17 people had been killed in three weeks of violence in several towns. A Kurdish group, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, posted on Web sites the names of people it said were the victims. It said more than 200 people had been injured. Four members of Iranian security forces were killed near Oroumieh, a northwestern city, the ISNA news agency reported.
Dozens of activists have been arrested, among them Roya Toloui, a prominent advocate for women’s rights, several human rights groups said. The authorities reportedly arrested her at her home in Sanandaj on charges of disturbing the peace and "acting against national security." Two Kurdish newspapers were also shut down. The government is very sensitive about hints of ethnic strife in the country. It has refused to release detailed information about the scale of the turmoil except for several random reports about attacks on government buildings during demonstrations.
The unrest erupted after security forces killed Shivan Qaderi on July 9 in the city of Mahabad. Pictures of the young man’s body suggested he had been tortured, and were widely distributed and broadcast on satellite television channels. The government said Mr. Qaderi was a hooligan and accused him of moral and financial violations. The Kurds said he was a political activist. Human Rights Watch, citing reports from Kurdish groups, said Mr. Qaderi was shot in public; the government has not commented on the circumstances surrounding the death. "The incident triggered the unrest but there were other elements to it," said Jalal Jalalizadeh, a former Kurdish member of Iran’s Parliament. "Kurdish people have fundamental demands but the government has ignored them. More turmoil can erupt again over other reasons."
Iran accused the United States and Britain on Sunday of stoking the unrest that has broken out among its Kurdish and Arab minorities.Iran Says U.S., Britain Encouraging Unrest
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi offered little evidence for his allegations, but he suggested that Washington and London were giving encouragement to Arabs and Kurds who have rioted in western and northwestern Iran.
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When can we expect some action, Mr President?
From Harry's Place: Monitoring Bush: no action on Saudi religious rights
Under the IRFA, the administration is required to “take action to oppose religious freedom violations" in Saudi Arabia within 90 days of making the designation. The administration can choose from among 15 actions, ranging from a condemnation to significant economic sanctions. But, more than 5 months after the 90 day deadline expired, the Bush administration has done nothing.
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Kudos to Redhill's Muslims
London bombs terror attack The Times and Sunday Times Times Online
ISLAMIC radicals from a supposedly disbanded organisation clashed violently with mosque elders while trying to recruit teenage worshippers to extremist training camps.
Fights broke out as angry parents prevented agitators from entering the Islamic Centre in Redhill, Surrey, during an hour-long confrontation. They say extremists are now operating covertly by following people to their homes.
They started visiting the Redhill Islamic Centre three months ago, singling out youths, following them home and trying to convince them to attend seminars, youth groups and camps.
Two radicals began attending the mosque but within a month there were about 15, who tried to speak to worshippers after prayers. Elders and parents blocked their entrance, sparking a confrontation.
Qamar Bhatti, a spokesman for the mosque and member of the Muslim Council of Reigate and Banstead, said: “We were aware that this is how extremist groups were recruiting people to go to Afghanistan.
“They would talk about how they were organised. Then they started to follow people and asked to talk to them. This was disturbing. People started coming to me and saying that people who were not from the area were visiting them at home.
“These visitors would say to them, ‘your priest doesn’t pray right, we do it differently; we have Koran classes; British society undermines our faith’, just starting to chip away at people.
“Some youngsters got involved in all this because they were impressionable. Many parents worry because the parents of those involved in the bombings didn’t know their children belonged to extremist groups.
“These people started talking about seminars, which they later called training camps. We’d already heard about this from friends in Crawley." The extremists became aggressive with the imam; concerned worshippers called a meeting and decided to ban the extremists.
“The parents decided enough was enough. What they (the extremists) didn’t bargain for is that we have a strong parent body," Mr Bhatti, 40, said.
Why don't we hear more of this sort of thing?
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