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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

Global Security Alert after Al-Qaeda Prison Escapes

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

The international police organization Interpol has issued a global security alert, urging increased vigilance for terrorist activity, following a suspected al-Qaeda connection to prison breaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, among others, AP reported.

Interpol says the prison escapes have taken place in nine Interpol member countries over the past month. The organization is requesting its 190 member countries’ assistance in figuring out whether such events are indeed linked.

The full statement from Interpol’s alert reads:

Following a series of prison escapes across nine INTERPOL member countries in the past month alone, including in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters has issued a global security alert advising increased vigilance.

With suspected Al Qaeda involvement in several of the breakouts which led to the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals, the INTERPOL alert requests the Organization’s 190 member countries’ assistance in order to determine whether any of these recent events are coordinated or linked.

INTERPOL is asking its member countries to closely follow and swiftly process any information linked to these events and the escaped prisoners. They are also requested to alert the relevant member country and INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters if any escaped terrorist is located or intelligence developed which could help prevent another terrorist attack.

Staff at INTERPOL’s 24-hour Command and Coordination Centre and other specialized units are also prioritizing all information and intelligence in relation to the breakouts or terrorist plots in order to immediately inform relevant member countries of any updates.

August is the anniversary of violent terrorist incidents in Mumbai, India and Gluboky, Russia as well as in Jakarta, Indonesia. This week also marks the 15th anniversary of the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in which more than 200 mostly African citizens were killed and 4,000 others injured.

In recent years, terrorist attacks focusing on diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan, Greece, India, Kenya, Libya, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey and Yemen have also resulted in hundreds of casualties of all nationalities.

The US State Department has also issued a global travel alert in response to credible intelligence suggesting that Al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks between now and 31 August, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to the US authorities announcing the one-day closure of more than 20 diplomatic missions on Sunday 4 August, the UK Foreign Office has also confirmed the closure of the British embassy in Yemen on 4 and 5 August.

On 16th Birthday, Pakistani Girl Shot in Head Speaks at UN (VIDEO)

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Last fall Islamist terrorists tried to murder a young Pakistani school girl by shooting her in the head at close-range after climbing aboard the school bus in which she was traveling.  Malala Yousafzai, the object of an assassination attempt because she promoted education for girls, has recovered from her wounds and has defeated her would-be assassins.

On Friday, July 12 – her 16th birthday – Malala Yousafzai received standing ovations when she gave a speech to the United Nations.  She  said education is the only way to save lives:

Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution.

Although only 15 years old, Yousafzai and her campaign to promote education for girls was so threatening to the Taliban that assassins were sent to murder her as she traveled in a school bus.

Actually, Yousafzai was perceived as a threat for several years before the Taliban shot her.

When only 11 years old she wrote an anonymous blog for the BBC in which she championed the cause of education for girls, which is banned by the Taliban.

Over time, her identity became known as she continued writing and speaking out.  In 2011 Yousafzai received Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Price and was even nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the International Children’s Peace Prize.

As expected, the more attention Yousafzai brought to her cause, the more of a threat she became.  Eventually there were death threats against her.  And then, on October 9, 2012, the threatened acts were carried out.

The attack drew the attention of the world as her rescue and recovery, first in Pakistan and then in England, were closely followed.  For some time it was unclear whether Yousafzai could recover from the attack, but it is clear from her appearance on Friday that not only has she recovered, she is stronger and more determined than ever.

“The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens,” Yousafzai said. “The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.”  There were 500 people in the audience at Friday’s speech.

Friday was declared Malala Day by the U.N., but Malala said it was “not my day,” but a day for every woman, boy and girl struggling for their rights.

“Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured,” she said. “I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many.”

“I speak not for myself but for those without voice … those who have fought for their rights — their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.”

Yousafzai is a symbol of strength through adversity.  She said it best in her own words.

On October 9, 2012 the Taliban shot me in the left side of my forehead.  They shot my friends, too.  The thought the bullets would silence us.  But they failed.

Weakness, fear, hopelessnes died.   Strength, power and courage was born.

Watch her whole speech here.

Taliban Terrorists Kill American Tourist,10 Others in Pakistan

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

A dozen or more Taliban terrorists in Pakistan, disguised in police uniforms, killed 10 tourists, including an American and one Pakistani citizen in a shooting attack in a relatively peaceful mountain area. The American may have been have been a Chinese American.

A local Taliban spokesman said the attack was in revenge for a May 29 U.S. drone strike that killed Taliban’s deputy leader, Waliur Rehman.

Also killed were five Ukrainians, three Chinese and one Russian. One Chinese tourist survived the massacre.

“The U.S. Embassy Islamabad expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the U.S. citizen and the other innocent tourists who were killed in the Northern Areas of Pakistan,” Matt Boland, the acting spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, told reporters in a statement.

On Israel’s President’s Conference

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

 I would, in retaliation, host Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan “Apartheid Weeks.” Stephen Hawking has, apparently, no issues speaking in China and Iran, two countries with appalling human rights records. No one speaks about BDS of Saudi Arabia, where the list of human rights violations is endless. Where were their voices? Or Pakistan, with religious minorities facing persecution and violence against women? No one asked me to cancel my trip to Pakistan.

Recently I received an email from “a Palestinian in Vancouver,” in Canada, asking me to boycott Israel’s annual Presidential Conference, “Facing Tomorrow,” soon in Jerusalem, where I have been invited to speak.

The request for my boycott citied as reasons Israel’s human rights violations and mentioned that as Stephen Hawking boycotted the conference, perhaps I should, as well.

My response to my Palestinian friend is that the first time I was invited to speak at this conference three years ago, I went, hesitantly, not knowing what it was all about. I was so enthused by both my visit to Israel and the conference that I wrote extensively about the experience on my blog, and later named my own Not-for-Profit Organization “Muslims Facing Tomorrow” with an idea that one day, I would host a similar conference about ideas and a vision for a better tomorrow.

Upon my return, I praised the country and the people, but many of my Muslim friends were not interested in knowing these details. They only asked, “Were there any Palestinians at the conference and was the Israel-Palestinian issue discussed?” I was happy to respond that yes, there were Palestinians at the conference; I had even brought home a book on Islam from one of the Palestinian speakers there.

About human rights violations: granted that Israel, like every other country, has violations — but far fewer than those of the countries surrounding it. Israel is still the only liberal democracy in the area where one can find gender equality and freedom for its citizens. During my visits to Israel, I have, in fact, questioned Israeli Arabs and found that they are loath to leave the country where they enjoy freedom and human rights.

As I am accredited to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where I attend its sessions twice a year, I have a close connection with human rights. At the UNHRC, I hear a lot about humanitarian crises, and these do not include Israel. The OIC (Organization of Islamic Co-operation), for instance, – a group of 57 Arab and Muslim States which has a permanent delegation to the United Nations and is the largest international organization outside the United Nations — continuously slams and blames Israel for everything happening in the Arab and Muslim world and beyond. This incrimination of Israel has become the norm, and can be seen as a ruse to deflect or move focus away from the real problems besetting the Arab world.

BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel is also not a new movement, but has taken on a life of its own at academic institutions all over North America. This movement has led to “Israel Apartheid Week” events, ugly and nonsensical, at many universities. If I were a student, I would, in retaliation, host Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan “Apartheid Weeks.” But I know that is not the solution to the problems besetting these countries, and the crux of the issue is how freedom of speech can become the fine line between hate mongering and truth.

This incrimination also highlights the double standards held by academics such as Stephen Hawking: he had no issues, apparently, speaking in China and Iran, two countries that have appalling human rights records. But that is his problem.

My problem is that I am from Pakistan, a country where the word human rights has no meaning or recognition whatsoever. According to the Human Rights Watch World Report on Pakistan for 2012, Pakistan had a disastrous year — including increasing attacks on civilians by militant groups, religious minorities facing unprecedented insecurity and persecution, and where freedom of belief and expression are coming under severe threat as the presence of Islamists has grown by leaps and bounds. This does not even begin to address violations against women. The Aurat Foundation, a local women’s rights group in Pakistan, says the number of incidents of violence against women in Pakistan has increased at least seven percent over the past year.

UAV Kills Taliban Terrorists 4 Days After Obama Limits Drones

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

At lest one Taliban terrorist and three others were killed in a drone strike in Pakistasn Wednesday, four days after President Barack Obama declared he would limit the use of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in order to reduce civilian casualties.

The CIA maintained its usual policy of not commenting on specific attacks, but Taliban called the reports of the pre-dawn drone strike on one of is terrorists “totally false.”

The drone targeted the terrorist in a home used by terrorists for meetings. “Half of the compound has been destroyed,” according to a local official in the North Waziristan region, a terrorist stronghold.

A Policy in Search of Doctrine

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

In the face of seemingly irrational threats from North Korea, at least one American conclusion should be obvious and prompt: Nuclear strategy is a “game” that sane world leaders must play, whether they like it, or not. President Obama can choose to play this complex game purposefully or inattentively. But, one way or another, he will have to play.

Should he opt for the more sensible style of engagement, he will need to move significantly beyond his currently misconceived search for global denuclearization (“a world free of nuclear weapons”) to a far more thoroughly realistic plan for (1) controlling further nuclear proliferation and (2) improving America’s own nuclear posture. More than anything else, this indispensable move will require the creation of a more suitable U.S. strategic doctrine.

Earlier, at the start of the Cold War, the United States first began to codify vital orientations to nuclear deterrence and nuclear war. At that time, the world was tightly bipolar, and the indisputable enemy was the Soviet Union. Tempered by a shared knowledge of the unprecedented horror that finally ceased in 1945, each superpower had readily understood the core need for cooperation (or at least coordination), as well as for conflict preparedness.

With the start of the nuclear age, American national security was premised on seemingly primal threats of “massive retaliation.” Over time, especially during the Kennedy years, that calculated policy was softened by more subtle and nuanced threats of “flexible response.” Along the way, a coherent and generalized American strategic doctrine was crafted to accommodate every conceivable kind of adversary and enemy encounter. Systematic and historically grounded, this doctrine was developed self-consciously, to evolve prudently, and in carefully considered increments.

Strategic doctrine, defense intellectuals had already understood, is a “net.” Only those who cast can catch.

Today we live in an increasingly “multipolar” system. No longer is the world under the controlling ambit of either Washington or Moscow. Now, there are complex and sometimes intersecting axes of global conflict. Among other things, this means that we must construct our national nuclear strategies with a deliberate view toward impacting multiple and interdependent centers of global power. Moreover, this view still includes some of the usual suspects, especially Russia.

Moscow has continued to reinvigorate its production of intercontinental ballistic missiles and ICBM supporting infrastructures. In part, this represents an entirely predictable Russian response to expectations that America may yet push ahead with its plans for expanded ballistic missile defense in Europe. In Russian calculations, which are by no means eccentric or devoid of merit, such plans are actually offensive. This is because they would threaten to undermine the always-basic deterrence requirements of mutual vulnerability.

At this moment, we may at least hope, Obama’s primary strategic focus is on North Korea, Iran, and an already-nuclear Pakistan. There certainly is nothing wrong with such a focus (quite the contrary); the problem is that each case is likely being considered as if it were altogether singular, ad hoc, or unique. Instead, acknowledging that generality is a trait of all scientific meaning, the president should now be fashioning a comprehensive doctrine from which logically appropriate policies for each of these urgent cases could then be properly extrapolated.

In all three cases there are more-or-less plausible concerns of enemy irrationality. In such alarming situations, where leadership elites in Pyongyang, Tehran, or Islamabad might value certain presumed national or religious obligations more highly than physical survival, the logic of deterrence could fail. Such a scenario is improbable, but it is certainly not inconceivable.

Also important to understand are possible interactions or synergies between major adversaries. North Korea and Iran, both with documented ties to China, Syria, and Russia, have maintained a long-term and consequential strategic relationship.

Other major problems face us. These threats may even be unrelated to what is happening in Russia, North Korea, Iran, or Pakistan and might only be indirectly connected to the belligerent intentions of other nation-states. Such problems could stem, in part, from the effectively uncontrolled growth of certain virulently antagonistic sub-state guerrilla and/or terrorist organizations.

This sort of growth, moreover, is made more likely by ongoing events in Syria and also by the UN’s recent tilt to further formalizing Palestinian statehood. Now already a “nonmember observer state,” the Palestinian Authority is closer to becoming, together with Hamas in Gaza, a palpably more effective base for launching significant anti-Israel terror attacks.

Major Earthquake Strikes Iran, Rocks Pakistan (Video)

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck the Sistan and Baluchistan province in southeastern Iran, on its border with Pakistan, according to the United States Geographical Survey. The quake began at 3:44 PM local time, 6:44 AM ET in southeastern Iran, about 50 miles east of the city of Khash and near the Pakistani border. The quake’s depth was reported at about 50 miles below the Earth’s surface.

Khash has a population of 70,000.

A state of emergency was declared in the region, and rescue teams were dispatched from the surrounding area to the remote site, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported.

IRNA called the earthquake a huge disaster. State-run Press TV reported that at least 40 people were killed, including seven in Pakistan.

Accoding to Reuters, witnesses are saying that tall buildings shook as far as way as New Delhi, India, some 1,500 miles away, and people went running into the streets. southern Pakistan was also rocked.

Pakistan state television said aftershocks were rattling the region at 7:30 AM ET.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/major-earthquake-strikes-iran-rocks-pakistan-video/2013/04/16/

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