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and Peace Like a River
* Suicide bombers killed two coalition soldiers
and six Afghan civilians in two near-simultaneous blasts Saturday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, officials said. A purported Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came as NATO prepares to take command of the volatile region. Eight more soldiers were wounded when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a coalition vehicle, said Maj. Scott Lundy, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition forces. He refused to disclose the nationality of troops killed and wounded.
* The Sunday Times
is reporting on the existence of a fifth suspect in the 2005 London bombings
, who was talked out of participating in the attacks on that morning. Gateway Pundit has additional commentary and analysis
* Somalia's Islamist militia briefly fought government forces
on Saturday -- the first clash between the two sides and one that many Somalis fear may signal a slide to war in the Horn of Africa country. Government militia seized and set on fire two "technicals" -- heavily armed pickup trucks that are Somalia's version of tanks -- in fighting in the remote Qoryooley district, an Islamist source told Reuters.
* A Hezbollah rocket attack on Sunday killed 2 Israeli citizens and wounded twelve others
in the Haifa area. Hezbollah has reportedly fired 2,200 rockets into Israel
during the latest fighting. The attacks on Haifa are reported to be originating from Hezbollah units in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre
Other topics today include: Bahrain anti-terror legislation; Ahmadinejad warns Israel; Terror plot thwarted in Tel Aviv; Hezbollah sleeper cells; Saudi reaction to Hezbollah; More on fighting between Israel and Hezbollah; IAF strikes Gaza rocket factory; Clashes between Turkey and PKK; IAF airstrikes in Lebanon; Miami suspect pledged oath to al Qaeda; Canadian citizen named al Qaeda conspirator; Paracha gets 30 years; U.S. Congressional support for Israel; Tensions between Georgia and South Ossetia; Russia opposing resolution on Iran; Attack in Kandahar; Fighting in southern Afghanistan; Dutch commandos kill 18 Taliban; Building the Afghan police force; Violence in Kashmir; Developments in Mumbai terror attacks; The communist insurgency in Philippines; Terror suspects to appear in Australian court; Bulgaria intercepts Iranian bound shipment; Ethiopian troops move into Somalia; and more.Iran & the Middle East
* In Bahrain, the Shura Council approve new anti-terror legislation
after the law was passed last week in parliament at the prompting of the nation's leadership. Councillor Ahmed Buallay said terrorism was a plague, adding that the "government has come up with this law to protect the people and the nation from any harm."
* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is calling for an emergency meeting
of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in order to seek a solution to end Israel's offensive against Hezbollah. In a separate speech, the Iranian leader warned Israel to pack up and go.
* On Friday, Israeli police arrested three terror suspects
who were plotting a suicide terror attack in the city of Tel Aviv.
* Hizbullah "sleeper" terror cells set up outside Lebanon with Iranian assistance have been put on standby and are likely planning attacks
against Jewish and Israeli targets throughout the world. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross has additional commentary
on the report.
* As a result of Iran's growing influence in the region, Saudi Arabia is expanding their military inventory and capabilities
. John Burgess at Crossroads Arabia has more commentary
on the Saudi reaction and why they didn't leap to support Hezbollah.
* Michael Slackman reports on the resentment in Iran
over support the government sends outside to Hezbollah. "Of course I am angry," says Hamid Akbari, a deliveryman, "All our income is going to Palestine and Hezbollah." According to the Israeli Intelligence Chief, Iran has invested $ 100 million in the current Hezbollah operation
* Israel continues to insist that Hezbollah be disarmed as outlined in UN Security Council resolution 1559, and said they would be open to the possibility of an EU peacekeeping force
* Bill Roggio has commentary and analysis
on the IDF move into southern Lebanon. On Saturday, IDF forces seized the Lebanese border village of Maroun al-Ras
from Hezbollah forces.
* According to reports, the United States is utilizing several diplomatic tools in an attempt to peal Syria away from Iran
, including the use of Saudi and Egypt officials to convince Syria to turn on Hezbollah. There are reports Syria has softened its stance
and may be willing to offer locations of al Qaeda cells in Lebanon, but that remains questionable.
* An explosion in Gaza on Sunday
left four dead, after Israeli forces reportedly shelled the residence of a Hamas operative in the Shajaiyeh district. The IDF says the residence was a missile and rocket storage facility
. On Sunday, nine more Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel.
* On Friday, Israel activated thousands of IDF reservists
for emergency duty as the fight against Hezbollah wages on. Israel's standing army of about 186,500 troops can jump to 631,500 with rapid mobilization, according to figures from the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. Daniel McKivergan highlights some of the challenges
confronting the IDF.
* The United States is urging Turkey to be patient
in dealing with Kurdish terrorists that operate on both sides of the Turkish-Iraqi border, and says there will be "more concrete results shortly" while vowing to "move against the PPK." Meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Bush pledged his support to help Turkey
in the face of attacks by Kurdish rebels.
* Turkish troops on Friday killed five militants
of the banned separatist Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in a clash near Turkey's border with Iran. Four Turkish soldiers were wounded in the fighting.
* On Saturday, the Israeli Air Force struck 90 targets linked to Hezbollah
in Lebanon, including buildings, tunnels, rocket launchers and communication systems.
* According to Israeli military sources, Hamas has developed and fired a Grad rocket
, a variant of the Katyusha with a longer range. Last week one of the rockets was reported to have hit and exploded 14 miles inside of Israel.
* Hezbollah continues to insist on a prisoner exchange with Israel
, and according to at least one Lebanese lawmaker, the Shi'ite terrorist organization is seeking third party support to negotiate the deal. Israel refuses to accept any prisoner swap and calls for the unconditional release of the two IDF soldiers.America Domestic Security & the Americas
* One of seven men accused of plotting terrorist attacks against Chicago's Sears Tower and government buildings in major cities pleaded not guilty Friday despite his own admission in writing that he took an oath of loyalty to al-Qaida
. Lyglenson Lemorin, 31, entered the plea during a brief hearing in federal court after he was transferred to Miami from Atlanta, where he was arrested in June. Another hearing is set for Aug. 8 to determine if he should be released on bail.
* The Bush administration on Thursday named a Canadian citizen
with high-level ties to al Qaida, Abousofian Abdelrazik, as a "specially designated global terrorist" and launched action to seize his U.S. financial assets. Abdelrazik, who also holds Sudanese citizenship, "is known to have been a member of an extremist cell in Montreal" and had close associations with Ahmed Ressam, the convicted millennium bomber, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.
* A Pakistani convicted of supporting an al Qaeda plot to blow up U.S. gas stations was sentenced to 30 years in prison
on Thursday in a case Washington has called a victory in its war on terror. Uzair Paracha, 26, has said he falsely confessed under the pressure of three days of interrogation by the FBI, but U.S. District Court Judge Sidney Stein said Paracha "knew what he was doing" in lending support to al Qaeda.
* Russia has signed a contract on supplies of military planes and helicopters to Venezuela
worth over $1 billion.
* On Thursday the US House voted 410-8
to agree to the resolution in support of Israel. Russia, Caucasus & Central Asia
* Russian humanitarian shipments will begin arriving in Lebanon on Monday
, and officials are calling on Israel to allow the aid shipments to reach their destination safely.
* Security service in the South Ossetian republic arrested a man in Tskhinvali, who reportedly acknowledged he was preparing a number of acts of terror
against the officials of the Ministry of Defense. South Ossetian authorities are claiming the man was acting on behalf of the Georgian secret service.
* According to UN diplomats, Russia is opposing key parts of a U.S.-backed Security Council draft resolution
on Iran’s nuclear program, threatening international unity on how to handle Tehran’s defiance.
* This weekend, Russia proposed holding a meeting of foreign ministers
of the world’s leading nations and regional states in Beirut or Rome, in an attempt to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East.Afghanistan & Southern Asia
* At least five Afghans were killed in the southern city of Kandahar on Saturday in a suicide attack
, which took place shortly after a car bomber hit U.S.-led coalition troops, a police official said. Another police official said he saw five foreign casualties caused by the first attack. One local civilian was also killed in the initial attack, he said.
* Afghan and coalition forces have kept up a hunt for rebels who briefly captured two southern districts last week, killing 13 Taliban
in the latest strikes. Another 15 were wounded in the operations, including air strikes, around Helmand province's Garmser and Naway-i-Barakzayi districts, provincial spokesman Moheedin Khan told AFP Saturday.
* The commander of Dutch armed forces says Dutch commandos in southern Afghanistan have killed 18 militants
in the hills overlooking a Dutch military camp. General Dick Berlijn says there were no Dutch casualties in the 10-day operation around Camp Holland, which is under construction near the town of Tarin Kot in Oruzgan Province.
* A soldier from the US-led coalition was killed in eastern Afghanistan when a reconstruction team base was hit by mortars
and rockets, the coalition said. The soldier, whose nationality was not released, died before he could be medically evacuated from the base in Paktika province, a coalition spokeswoman said. "A group of extremists fired several mortars and rockets at the base in Sharan," Lieutenant Tamara Lawrence said. It not immediately clear how much damage the base had suffered, she said.
* Afghan forces killed 19 suspected Taliban rebels
as they traded rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire Sunday with insurgents in volatile southern Afghanistan. The fighting in the southern province of Helmand took place nine miles south of Lashkar Gah, as police hunted Taliban militants, said Mullah Amir Mohammed Akhundza, the provincial deputy governor who led the operation.
* In other violence reported Sunday, police said three policemen were killed
and three others kidnapped in a Taliban attack on a police checkpoint in southeastern Ghazni province. And a bomb blast on a highway in Khost province near the border with Pakistan killed one Afghan and wounded three others, police said. Two coalition troops and an Afghan troop were meanwhile wounded when a remote-controlled bomb struck a patrol in neighbouring Paktia province.
* Two Canadian soldiers and six Afghan civilians have died in a double attack by suicide bombers
in the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. The soldiers died, and eight others were hurt, when a car laden with explosives rammed into their convoy. Soon afterwards near the scene, a second bomber killed six Afghans.
* Security forces said they found a small bomb
on the main road to the international airport in the Afghan capital after a similar device exploded close to the nearby US embassy overnight. The blast late Saturday, about 100 metres (yards) from concrete security barriers leading to the embassy, caused no injuries or damage, a spokesman for the NATO-led force that patrols the city told AFP on Sunday.
* British troops in southern Afghanistan are winning the fight
against the Taliban but there is still work to do until the "tide turns", their commander, Brigadier Ed Butler, said. Butler, back in Britain on a brief tour to update colleagues on the operation, said officers in Helmand province were now comfortable with the number of soldiers available to them.
* In Afghanistan, anger over the slow pace of reconstruction is palpable nearly five years since
a U.S.-led invasion force toppled the Taliban. Signs of progress are everywhere — rising wages, girls attending school, spreading cell phone networks, a new cross-country highway. But then there's the reality of a raging insurgency, weak governance and the extreme poverty faced by millions.
* An article by Vance Serchuk in the July 11 issues of The Weekly Standard
looked at why Afghanistan is having trouble building up
an effective police force.
* Here are the daily updates from the South Asia Terrorism Portal for Friday
* A suspected rebel commander accused of staging over two dozen deadly attacks on tourists and other targets in Indian Kashmir has been arrested
, police said. Police called the arrest a setback for militancy in Indian Kashmir, racked by an insurgency against New Delhi's rule since 1989.
* Soldiers and police clashed Friday with Islamic militants in Kashmir, killing three insurgents
, police said, as a separate gunbattle raged elsewhere in the divided Himalayan region. The three militants were found dead in the village of Sursan, 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir, said the area’s police chief, S. P. Pani.
* Four people have been killed in three separate incidents
in revolt-hit Indian Kashmir. An Indian soldier was killed Sunday when militants opened fire on an army patrol in the Gurez sector of the divided Himalayan region, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the summer capital Srinagar, army spokesman V.K. Batra said.
* The JK police today officially announced the arrest
of one of Lashkar-e-Toiba’s key functionaries — Mudasir Gujri alias Raju — who is linked to the Lashkar’s Pakistan-based operational chief Abu al Qama. Police said Raju was the mastermind of the series of grenade attacks on tourists that killed nine people and the strike at a Congress rally in Srinagar.
* India dismissed Pakistan's offer to aid
in the investigation of the Bombay train bombings with an official saying Friday that Islamabad has done nothing in the past when presented with evidence of terror networks on its soil. If Pakistanis "really want to convince the people of India that they are willing to work together with India against terrorism than they have to take some action immediately — and they can," Foreign Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters.
* Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says India should not blame Pakistan
for last week's bombings in Mumbai in which more than 180 people were killed. In a televised address, Gen Musharraf warned against unsubstantiated comments and hoped peace moves would continue.
* Three men have been detained in India
along with a suspected senior militant in Kenya in the first arrests in connection with the Mumbai trains blasts that killed 183 people. Kenyan police said they detained Abdul Karim Tunda, one of India's most wanted men and a suspected organiser for banned Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
* The Pakistani authorities on Thursday ordered the evacuation of a northern area of the country, near the border with China, of tourists and foreigners after receiving intelligence reports of the possible presence of Osama bin Laden in the area
. According to Arab daily al-Hayat, the presence of the al-Qaeda leader was reported in the extreme north of Pakistan in an area that borders China and Afghanistan. For this reason hundreds of tourists - most of them European - were made to leave the Chalinji Pass and the Wakhan corridor and the security forces closed all access to the area.
* Two days after India asked it to deport Dawood Ibrahim
, Pakistan has maintained that the international terrorist is not on its soil and said he would be arrested straightaway if any proof of his presence is given.
* Despite repeated warnings by Central Intelligence agencies regarding intrusion of ISI agents in Bihar via Nepal, their influence has only widened
in the districts bordering Nepal. Some organisations based in the Himalayan Kingdom have managed to sneak into the territories of Bihar to poison the minds of educated, but unemployed, Muslims so as to lure them into subversive activities. Far East & Southeast Asia
* Australian Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said that legislation introduced in the wake of the 2005 London bombings had been weakened
because the ACT had not introduced complementary legislation on preventive detention of terror suspects.
* Defense Minister Brendan Nelson said Australia is considering sending 120 additional troops
to Afghanistan, to join 300 already deployed there.
* A former Filipino Armed Forces chief on Sunday praised plans to split
the Zamboanga City-based Southern Command headquarters into two to make it more effective in fighting communist insurgency and terrorism in Mindanao. "That’s beneficial because the military will now be more effective in handling the threats in Mindanao. That’s good at least the Southern Command will be more focus in addressing whatever problems as far as security is concerned," retired Gen. Narciso Abaya, a former Armed Force chief, told The Manila Times.
* Michael Richardson editorializes about North Korea's growing trade in terror
and R.A. Allen looks at the Pyongyang-Tehran Missile Connection
* Thirteen men accused of being part of a terrorist organization will appear in an Australian court
on Monday, where prosecutors will outline their case against the group.
* Japan is looking towards playing a more active role in the Philippines
, by funding infrastructure and other projects in the conflict torn southern region. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has already welcomed the move, expected to include construction of medical facilities, health care centers and schools.
* Communist rebels attacked a Filipino police station
in Sorsogon Province on Saturday, killing one Coast Guard officer. Five rebels were killed in the engagement, and Filipino officials responded by vowing to crush the insurgency.
* The Association of Southeast Asian Nations met this weekend at a regional security meeting
to discuss the situations in North Korea, Lebanon and Myanmar, and are expected to release a consensus statement on Monday.Europe
* British intelligence continues to remain concerned that Hezbollah could target Israeli locations
in the United Kingdom with terror attacks. In July 1994, Hezbollah drove a car bomb into the Israeli embassy in London, wounding 14.
* The leaders of Romania’s three main intelligence agencies resigned late last week
after being summoned to a meeting with President Basescu to discuss the disappearance of Romanian businessman Omar Hayssam, who was accused of organizing the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists in Iraq, shortly before he was to be re-imprisoned.
* According to Berliner Zeitung
newspaper, Russian and German intelligence services are using long-standing links to both Hamas and Hezbollah
in a bid to win the freedom of three Israeli soldiers being held by terrorists.
* Bulgarian officials intercepted a shipment
of ten boxes bound for the Iranian Ministry of Defense, containing radioactive material.
* The Albanian Finance Ministry has frozen the financial assets
of Abdul Latif Saleh, a Jordanian businessman accused of receiving al Qaeda funds to establish a network in the Balkans.Africa
* A Somali Islamist leader has ordered a "holy war"
to drive out Ethiopian troops, after they entered the country to protect the weak interim government. "I am calling on the Somali people to wage a holy war against Ethiopians in Somalia," said Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys of the Union of Islamic Courts. Ethiopia denies that its forces are in the government's base of Baidoa, but a BBC reporter has seen them patrolling.
* Ethiopian troops moved into a second Somali town
on Saturday to protect the country's weak, U.N.-backed government, angering the Islamic militia that controls most of Somalia and causing peace talks to collapse. About 200 Ethiopian troops, driving in pickup trucks mounted with machine guns, moved into Wajid and took control of the airport, meeting no resistance, witnesses said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals.
* Gunmen have killed 682 civilians
, including a foreign journalist, in executions over the past year in Somalia, a local rights group said Sunday. The killings took place largely in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Some came during battles for control of the city, others were due to clan differences, a few were kidnappings and some were for unknown motives, according to the report by the Dr. Ismael Jumale Human Rights Center.
* Africa continues to be afflicted
with all sorts of scourges - and terrorism is at the top of the hit parade in a number of countries - Sudan, Somalia. Olivier Guitta has a piece in the Weekly Standard which he previews
at the Counterterrorism Blog on the forgotten war in Algeria - with its own brand of Islamic fascist terrorists akin to al-Qaeda called the GPSC.
* Mark Mazzetti quotes unnamed Pentagon officials saying that the effort to combat terrorism in Africa and offset Chinese influence
has been hampered by the slashing of funds to nations like Kenya.
* With Indian law enforcement agents en route to Kenya to pick up an alleged terrorist
, Kenyan police said the man in custody might be someone else
. Syed Abdul Karim, also known as Tunda, is one of the most wanted men in India and is reported to be the founder of Laskher-e-Taiba and the man behind a series of bombings in the 1990s.The Global War
* It is only a "question of time" before Palestinian terror groups and other Islamic organizations in the Middle East target the United States
both abroad and on the home front, Abu Nasser, second-in-command of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview.
* The Bush administration has approved the sale
of more than $6 billion worth of military platforms and equipment to Saudi Arabia. The Defense Department has notified Congress that the administration plans to sell helicopters, armored vehicles, communications systems and other equipment to Saudi Arabia. Officials said this would mark the largest Saudi arms purchase from the United States in more than a decade.
* The Bush administration and Congress have slashed millions of dollars of military aid to African nations
in recent years, moves that Pentagon officials and senior military commanders say have undermined U.S. efforts to combat terrorist threats in Africa and to counter expanding Chinese influence there. Since 2003, Washington has shut down Pentagon programs to train and equip militaries in a handful of African nations because they have declined to sign agreements exempting U.S. troops from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
* UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour criticized Israel over civilian casualties
in Lebanon and indicated there could be "war crimes" taking place. According to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora
, the country has "been torn to shreds."
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