Thursday, June 7, 2007

Italian, UK Police Break Up Islamic Militant Cell

from Reuters

The arrests targeted a cell of the al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, or GSPC, police in Milan said. The nine arrested were Tunisians. Police said the cell was a financial and logistical base sending money to camps in Afghanistan, but also recruited fighters and had links to attacks in Tunisia and Algeria this year ... France's top anti-terrorism investigator, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, told Reuters this week that the former GSPC might now try to expand its network into France, Spain and Italy. "The GSPC has become, as it were, a sort of regional branch of al Qaeda, its mission being to federate all the radical, Salafist organizations in North Africa -- Moroccan, Libyan and Tunisian -- and, at the same time, to provide logistical support to the Iraqi networks," Bruguiere said.

Al Qaeda Suspect Sent To Guantanamo

from Reuters

The Pentagon said on Wednesday that Abdullahi Sudi Arale, a suspected al Qaeda courier, also played a leading role in Somalia's Islamic Courts (the movement ousted from control of the Somali capital Mogadishu last year by Somali government and Ethiopian forces.) "We have significant information that indicates that Arale ... has been assisting various East African al Qaeda-affiliated extremists in acquiring weapons and explosives." The Pentagon said in a statement that he had returned to Somalia from Pakistan in September 2006 and taken a leadership role in the Islamic Courts. Arale also facilitated terrorist travel by providing false documents for al Qaeda agents and foreign fighters traveling into Somalia, the Pentagon said.

BAE accused of paying Saudi prince £1 billion in arms deal scandal

from AFX News Limited

Payments of up to £120 million per year were channeled into two Saudi embassy bank accounts in the US, and were made with the full knowledge of the Ministry of Defence, the report added. Prince Bandar served as Saudi ambassador to the US for 20 years, and was the architect of the £43 billion Al Yamamah deal in the 1980s to sell warplanes to Saudi Arabia.

Algerian bombing kills one, wounds eight

from UPI

A policeman was killed Wednesday in Algeria and another eight people were injured when a grenade detonated in the town of Tizi ozo, a report said. The bombing came two days after the leader of a regional Muslim Salafi group was given a life sentence by the town's council. The convicted leader's group is known as the Islamic Meghrib region's top al-Qaida organization.

Zarqawi Legacy Divides Sunni Opposition in Iraq

by Lee Banville and Mitchell Wyllins from the Online NewsHour

Brian Fishman, a senior associate at the Combating Terrorism Center, wrote in his report, Fourth Generation Governance; "Outside Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) provides al-Qaida sympathizers a firmer intellectual structure through which to imagine an Islamic government and the reestablishment of the Caliphate." ... "In order to appease its foreign backers, especially the ulema of senior jihadi-salafi thinkers, [ISI] needs to consolidate real control in parts of Iraq," said Fishman in a later interview. "It cannot do that without challenging other militant groups."

Five thousand guys named Mo

by Ed Husain from The Guardian

Based on my travels in the Middle East, I see two approaches to using the name Muhammad. There is the Saudi approach that sees Muhammad as "just another bloke" - and from that stems a soulless, Wahhabi form of Islam. And then there is the Syrian approach, one that embodies love for the prophet ... I prefer the Syrian approach to Muhammad. It was in Syria that they refused to address me by name, Mohamed, preferring to rhyme it with other names and call me Mohanned, or Ahmed, or any of the other many indirect names that the prophet is known by. In contrast, in Saudi Arabia, they readily called street cleaners Muhammad as a form of general address.

Muslim leader claims DCA discrimination

by Afeefah Beharry from the Antigua Sun

President of the Antigua & Barbuda Islamic Society Owolabi Elabanjo is claiming that he is being discriminated against and victimised by the Development Control Authority (DCA) who he said has not yet approved his plan to construct a multicultural centre at Belmont ... The construction of the centre is being funded locally and by some international Muslim organisations including the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah and the World Muslim league in Mecca.

From church boy to militant Muslim

by Mark Titus from the Jamaica Gleaner

On leaving Jamaica in 1983, Abdullah el-Faisal (Trevor Harris Forrest) travelled first to Guyana, where he took a course in Arabic, before studying at the Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Mohammed University in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where it is believed he first heard the teachings of Osama bin Laden and other practitioners of militant Wahhabi Islam ... During subsequent searches of specialist Islamic bookshops and el-Faisal's rented house in Stratford, East London, police found recordings of him saying: "This is how wonderful it is to kill a kuffar (a non-believer) ... You crawl on his back and while you are pushing him into the hellfire you are going into paradise."