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Archive for September 2008

Car bomb in Lebanon: connected to the Syrian terrorist attack?

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After the terrorist attack in Syria and the massive deployment of Syrian troops in the Syrian-Lebanese border (some consider this is a consequence of clashes between the Sunni majority and the Alawites, an offespring of Shia Islam and Syrian allies), there was a car bomb in Lebanon which killed four Lebanese soldiers and a civilian and wounded another 24 soldiers and another civilian.

The bomb, placed under a parked car in the Bahsas neighbourhood at Tripoli’s southern entrance, was packed with nuts and bolts and police suspect the device was detonated by remote control.

Soldiers and policemen guard a bus after it was hit by a blast on the main road in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, September 29, 2008. (Omar Ibrahim/REUTERS)

Soldiers and policemen guard a bus after it was hit by a blast on the main road in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, September 29, 2008.

(Omar Ibrahim/Reuters)

It blew up as the bus headed towards Beirut during morning rush-hour in Tripoli, where a similar explosion in August left 14 people dead, including nine soldiers, in the deadliest attack in Lebanon in three years.

Counterterrorism Blog considers both attacks are connected:

The attacks – coinciding with the recent strengthening of Syrian Army forces on the northern Lebanese-Syrian border (and various unconfirmed reports of Syrian special operators who have perhaps been crossing into Lebanon since at least early September) – may well be a coordinated effort fitting into a broader plan for Lebanon on the part of the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis.

Dr. Walid Phares, director of the Future of Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, tells us:

“What we are now witnessing is a rapid unfolding of the Syro-Iranian terror campaign aimed at achieving several interconnected goals.

The explosions in Lebanon are aimed at intimidating the Lebanese Army, the public, the politicians; and pressure all to accept an increasing role for Hezbollah and Syria within the country’s security apparatus. It is interesting to see the back-and-forth between the terror attacks against the Army and the statements made by Hezbollah and pro-Syrian politicians calling for a defense strategy to ‘protect Lebanon’: As if the message is: ‘You will continue to be attacked until we are in charge of security.’

“On the other hand, security related incidents and bomb attacks inside Syria appear to be sending a parallel message. The regime is eager to call itself a ‘target of terrorism.’ Hence, the accusation is now leveled at so-called factions inside Lebanon, meaning the mostly Sunni anti-Syrian politicians. Which leads to Syria’s so-called legitimate action against an enemy based in Lebanon.

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Written by Claudia

September 30, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Afghanistan: Taliban war-lord Hekmatyar claims responsibility for attack on French soldiers

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Afghan Taliban warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has claimed, in a video received on Sept, 29th by an Afghan press agency, the responsibility of the ambush which killed 10 French soldiers near Kabul, last August, 18th (1, 2, 3). In that document, Hekmatyar also states that he lost 10 men in the confrontation. The attack has already been claimed by a Taliban group, different from Hezb-e-Islami (Islamic party, HIG), the one commanded by Hekmatyar.

Début mai, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar avait affirmé que ses hommes avaient aidé le chef d'Al-Qaida et son bras droit Ayman Al-Zawahiri en 2002. AFP/STR

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in a video aired on May 2007.

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Written by Claudia

September 30, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Austrian elections: Austrian far-right are the real winners

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NYT reports:

The country’s two mainstream parties suffered significant losses, though they received the most votes and could rebuild their fractious, unpopular coalition. The Social Democratic Party led the voting with 30 percent, followed by the conservative People’s Party with 26 percent; they slipped by roughly 6 percentage points for the Social Democrats and 9 percentage points for the People’s Party.

But by far the most notable result was the success of the far-right parties. The Freedom Party, which is led by Heinz-Christian Strache, won 18 percent of the vote, a gain of 7 percentage points. The Alliance for Austria’s Future, led by Jörg Haider, a longtime Freedom Party leader who broke away and formed the new party in 2005, got 11 percent, nearly tripling its result in the last vote two years ago.

Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments have been powerful forces in European politics in recent years, and rising discontent over globalization and higher prices has helped fuel populist sentiment, benefiting right-wing groups that place the blame for economic woes squarely on immigrants and foreign competition.

Mr. Strache, a former dental technician, has called for a halt to immigration and a reclamation of some of the sovereign powers handed over to the European Union. For Mr. Haider, his party’s strong gains – and victory with almost 40 percent of the vote in the province of Carinthia, where he is governor – seal a political comeback since his departure from the Freedom Party.

There is no love lost between the erstwhile allies, which would make any coalition including both of the far-right parties more difficult to form. Mr. Haider, in particular, tried to adopt a more moderate line in this campaign than in the past.

The President of the Austrian Popular Party has resigned after the results.

A look to other media:

Measures against illegal immigration, against uncontrolled growth of Government and against islamification weren’t taken by the normal parties because they feared accusations of “racism“. Well, each day that elapses without appopriate measures being taken, we are nearer a real resurrection of the far-right/Neo-Nazi parties gaining power. And some want to make the rest choose between these ones and the Islamists…

Fear makes real the feared thing“, economists say.

Mark has written a very good post on the subject.

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Afghanistan: Most high-profile female police officer, killed in Kandahar

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Taliban gunmen shot dead the most high-profile female police officer in Afghanistan on Sunday as she left her home to go to work, officials and the militia said.

The attackers were waiting outside the home of Malalai Kakar, head of the city of Kandahar’s department of crimes against women, and opened fire on her car, Kandahar government spokesman Zalmay Ayoobi told AFP.

“Today between 7 am and 8 am when she was (in her car) outside her house and going to her job, some gunmen attacked,” Ayoobi said. “Malalai Kakar died in front of her house. Her son was wounded.”

A doctor in the city’s main hospital said Kakar, in her late 30s, had been shot in the head.

“She died on the spot and her son was badly injured and is in a coma,” said the doctor, who declined to let his name be used.

via Watcher.

That’s all they know: to kill and to menace. And always the bravest are the ones who are killed. This is disgraceful.

La Croix: Malalaï Kakar, courageuse policière tuée par les talibans.

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Written by Claudia

September 30, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Islamism, terrorism

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Argentinian media against Government censorship

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“Freedom of expression has been diminished by the reiterated episodes in which the political power charged against the MSM“. Argentinian press protests against the Government’s censorship and considers that “the conflictive relationship between the political power and the journalists aggravated with the long-lasting conflict about agriculture. The Government stigmatised the media and the journalists when they were maintaining ideas or versions which differed from the official. Those people were even considered as “enemies of the institutions”.

They also referred themselves to the reiterated critics made by the Argentinian president, Cristina Fernández and ex-president and her husband, Néstor Kichner (2003-2007), about the role of the press in the South-American country. “Our worries only deepened when we saw para-official speakers attacking MSM with publicity campaigns whose financing is unknown“.

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Written by Claudia

September 30, 2008 at 11:28 am

Elections in Belarus: the oposition didn’t obtain a single seat

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UNIVISIÓN reports that USA has stated that recent elections in Belarus “were not democratic”.

The US speaker Robert Wood said that the decision was taken after the oposition had not obtained one seat. 263 candidates, among others the 70 who belonged to the oposition, took part in the elections for the lower chamber.

More than 5 million voters went to the polls on Sunday, that is the 75.3% of the people able to vote. Belarus has a total population of 10 million people.

But the oposition had announced that these elections weren’t democratic and stated that they were “unequal and illegitimate”, according to the leader of the United Citizen Party, Anatoli Lebedko, to Moscow’s Echos Radio.

And then there are people who don’t understand why Lukashenko is called a dictator…

Oh, by the way, he has a good relationship with Chávez

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Written by Claudia

September 30, 2008 at 9:03 am

Afghanistan: Mullah Omar offers deal on US-NATO withdrawal

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Taliban leader Mullah Omar on Monday urged U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan to withdraw or face a similar defeat to occupying Soviet troops a generation ago.

In a rare message, posted on militant websites and monitored by the U.S.-based SITE intelligence group, Omar offered a bargain to the U.S.-led forces that drove the Taliban from power in 2001 but are now fighting a fierce insurgency by the Islamist militia.

Reconsider your wrong decision of wrong occupation, and seek a safe exit to withdraw your forces,” said the message, which the Taliban said came from Omar.

If you leave our lands, we can arrange for you a reasonable opportunity for your departure,” he said, adding that the Taliban posed no harm to anyone in the world.

If the occupation persisted, “you will be defeated in all parts of the world … like the former Soviet Union,” Omar said.

The mixture of Taliban terrorism insurgency and denial of the word “war” idiocy from Western countries is not a good one. As if only by simply changing words, the reality would change also…

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Written by Claudia

September 30, 2008 at 7:54 am