The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

FBI and American Muslims at odds

FBILaw enforcement efforts to root out home-grown terrorists are jeopardized by deteriorating relations between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Muslim and Arab-American communities.

The situation began last fall when the FBI quietly withdrew formal relations with all local chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), one of the largest Muslim American civil rights organizations. The FBI cited “a number of distinct narrow issues” that it has refused to make public.

The situation worsened in February, when it became public that the FBI had planted an informant at a California mosque who, a coalition of more than a dozen Muslim American groups charges, actively tried to recruit terrorists.

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US-Afghan units kill 33 Taleban

TalibanThe US military command in Afghanistan says Afghan and international troops have killed 33 militants in separate clashes in Helmand and Logar provinces.

Troops patrolling in Helmand’s Gereshk district had come under heavy gunfire, a statement said.

A combined patrol returned fire with air support, it said, killing 30 militants. One Afghan soldier was hurt.

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U.S. weighs taliban strike into Pakistan

USA flagPresident Obama and his national security advisers are considering expanding the American covert war in Pakistan far beyond the unruly tribal areas to strike at a different center of Taliban power in Baluchistan, where top Taliban leaders are orchestrating attacks into southern Afghanistan.

According to senior administration officials, two of the high-level reports on Pakistan and Afghanistan that have been forwarded to the White House in recent weeks have called for broadening the target area to include a major insurgent sanctuary in and around the city of Quetta.

Mullah Muhammad Omar, who led the Taliban government that was ousted in the American-led invasion in 2001, has operated with near impunity out of the region for years, along with many of his deputies.

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Swedish hostage freed in Colombia

NEWSColombia’s main leftist rebel group, the Farc, has freed its last known foreign hostage, a Swedish man abducted two years ago, Colombian officials say.

Ronald Larson, 69, was handed over to detectives on Tuesday and is in poor health, the state security agency said.

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U.S. won’t label terror suspects as ‘Combatants’

USA flagThe Obama administration said Friday that it would abandon the Bush administration’s term “enemy combatant” as it argues in court for the continued detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in a move that seemed intended to symbolically separate the new administration from Bush detention policies.

But in a much anticipated court filing, the Justice Department argued that the president has the authority to detain terrorism suspects there without criminal charges, much as the Bush administration had asserted. It provided a broad definition of those who can be held, which was not significantly different from the one used by the Bush administration.

The filing signaled that, as long as Guantánamo remains open, the new administration will aggressively defend its ability to hold some detainees there.

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Five accused boast of 9/11 role

USA flagFive Guantanamo detainees accused of the 9/11 attacks have told US prosecutors that they are “terrorists to the bone”, US officials say.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, and the four others were giving their first detailed reply to the charges against them.

They set it out in a six-page document released by the US authorities.

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Obama to step up attacks on Taliban

Barack ObamaOfficials in contact with the State Department said on Sunday that a new offensive would see a dramatic increase in Predator drone attacks on Taliban targets in defiance of Pakistani objections to cross-border attacks.

President Barack Obama on Sunday admitted that the US military was pushing for talks with the Taliban, but officials consulted on the plans said the military conflict would be raised to new levels of intensity before talks could begin. “There will be talks but the Taliban are going to experience a lot of pain first, on both sides of the border,” said one senior Western diplomat.

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Foreign troops alone can’t defeat Afghan insurgency

CanadaThe insurgency in Afghanistan will never be defeated only by maintaining an international troop presence in the country, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a U.S. television interview Sunday.

“We’re not going to ever defeat the insurgency. My reading of Afghanistan in history is that it’s probably had an insurgency forever of some kind,” Harper told Fareed Zakaria of CNN.

Harper wouldn’t say absolutely whether Canada would agree to an extension of its combat mission, set to end in late 2011, but he did say emphatically that Afghanistan cannot be governed or controlled by any foreign power indefinitely.

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Thousands of Tamils protest in Toronto

Canadian flagThousands of Canadian Tamils formed a human chain through Toronto’s downtown on Friday to protest a Sri Lankan government offensive aimed at crushing the separatist Tamil Tigers.

The greater Toronto area is home to 200,000 Tamils, one of the largest Tamil population outside Sri Lanka and the Indian subcontinent. A number of protests have been staged in recent weeks.

On Friday, protesters formed a human chain spanning several miles of major downtown streets to protest the military offensive, which has ousted the rebels from all major towns following heavy battles in recent months.

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Israel welcomes new middle east envoy Mitchell

Sallai Meridor (Ambassador of Israel to U.S.)Ambassador of Israel Sallai Meridor made the following statement in response to news that the Obama administration has appointed Senator George Mitchell and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as special envoys:

“As the United States and Israel continue to work jointly on achieving peace and stability in the Middle East, and of countering the common threat of terrorism and state sponsors of terror from acquiring nuclear weapons.

We warmly welcome and congratulate Senator George Mitchell on his appointment as special envoy for Middle East peace.

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