War & Conflicts

Egypt death penalty verdict triggers global outcry

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AP Mohamed Morsy. File photo

An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 529 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy to death.

The death sentence passed by an Egyptian court against 529 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has triggered an outcry against the verdict among a wide cross-section of the legal community at home as well as influential human rights groups abroad.

The stunning verdict that has put hundreds on death row was issued by an Upper Egyptian court in the city of Minya. The defendants were found guilty of murdering Mostafa El-Attar, deputy commander of a local police station, who was killed during riots that followed the storming by security forces of two pro-Morsy sit-ins in August last.

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U.S. reservist arrested after allegedly trying to enter Canada on his way to Syria to join Al-Qaeda-linked group

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In this file photo, cars line up to pass through the U.S. Customs station at Blaine, Washington to Canada on Dec. 20, 1999.

A U.S. National Guard reservist has been arrested on a Greyhound bus as he was trying to cross into Canada with the alleged intention of travelling to Syria to join an armed faction linked to Al-Qaeda.Nicholas Teausant, 20, was taken into custody at about 11:40 p.m. Sunday by U.S. Customs agents in Blaine, Wash. The California resident was allegedly on his way to Vancouver International airport.According to the FBI, he had repeatedly expressed his desire to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, or ISIS, an extremist group fighting to overthrown Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Read the rest of this entry »

Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders – leaked EU’s Ashton phone tape

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Edited time: March 06, 2014 13:03

An anti-government protester sit near the bodies of two demonstrators killed by a sniper during clashes with the police in the center of Kiev on February 20, 2014.(AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky)

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The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.

UPDATE: Estonian Foreign Ministry confirms authenticity of leaked call

“There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Urmas Paet said during the conversation.

“I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,” Ashton answered.

The call took place after Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25, following the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital.

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Libya: Slow Death of Derna

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By Aya Elbrqawi, 28 February 2014

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Photo: Kate Thomas/IRIN

A rebel fighter chats with a friend in central Benghazi (file photo).

Benghazi — Derna residents live a life of fear. Al-Qaeda has transformed their eastern Libya port city into a new base for its global campaign and as the prime export centre for jihadists.

Known for its long history of fierce fighters and proud tribes, Derna has faced relentless violence. Now it will not have a say in national governance because it is too unsafe to vote.

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SUCCESSFUL OFFENSIVE ESTABLISHES HOUTHI SHIITE MOVEMENT AS A POLITICAL FORCE IN THE NEW YEMEN

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BRIEFS

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 4

 

February 21, 2014 02:19 PM  By: Andrew McGregor

Sana'a
Sana’a (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

SUCCESSFUL OFFENSIVE ESTABLISHES HOUTHI SHIITE MOVEMENT AS A POLITICAL FORCE IN THE NEW YEMEN

 

Andrew McGregor

 

Since last October, the Zaydi Shiite Houthis of northern Yemen’s Sa’ada governorate have been involved in simultaneous conflicts with the Zaydi Shiites of the Hamid Confederation of tribes in neighboring Amran governorate and Salafist Sunnis concentrated in the town of Dammaj in Sa’ada governorate. Propelled by an apparently new armory of heavy weapons, the Houthists began to push south into neighboring Amran governorate in early January, eventually defeating the powerful al-Ahmar clan, leaders of the Hashid Arab confederation. By the time a ceasefire could be arranged in early February, Houthist forces were in the Arhab region, only 40 kilometers from the Yemeni capital of Sana’a (AFP, January 30).

 

The Zaydi, also known as “Fiver Shi’a,” constitute over 40 percent of Yemen’s population, though only a portion of this total are Houthis. They have traditionally had few major doctrinal differences with Yemen’s Sunni Shafi’i majority, but have run into conflict with the growing numbers of anti-Shiite Salafists in Sa’ada governorate. In the two years since the uprising that deposed Yemen’s old regime, the Houthis have made a dramatic transition from a Sa’ada-based rebel movement to an important and recognized political player in Yemen. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Dutch youngsters refused passports over Syria jihad fears

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Dutch Flag
Dutch Flag (Photo credit: Guido.)

Friday 21 February 2014

Ten Dutch youngsters have so far been refused a passport because the security services suspect they may be planning to go to Syria, the Dutch counter-terrorism unit NCTV told the Telegraaf.

The 10 include an 18-year-old girl from Maastricht who has converted to Islam and wants to travel to Syria with her husband, the Telegraaf says. The girl had expressed her support for terrorism on social media and was on an official watch list.

NCTV spokesman Edmond Messchaert toldbroadcaster Nos the passport applications were blocked because of fears the youngsters would return ‘radicalised and traumatised’. Those who disagree with the refusal to give them a passport can apply to the courts, he said.

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Behind the lines: Salafi insurgency fermenting

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By JONATHAN SPYERLAST UPDATED: 02/15/2014 03:44

While the main focus of the jihadi groups in northern Sinai is the regime in Cairo, the situation in the peninsula has serious implications for Israel.

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Funeral convoy of slain Islamists, Sinai. Photo: REUTERS

Northern Sinai has long played host to a variety of smuggling networks and jihadi organizations. Since Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s July 3 military coup in Egypt, however, there has been an exponential increase in attacks emanating from this area.
This increasingly lawless region is now the staging ground for an emergent Islamist insurgency against the Egyptian authorities.
Since July 2013, more than 300 reported attacks have taken place in Sinai. The violence is also spreading into the Egyptian mainland, with attacks in recent weeks on a security facility in Cairo, and the killing of an Interior Ministry official in the capital.
Some of the groups engaged in the fighting are linked to global jihadi networks, including al-Qaida.
Others have connections to elements in Hamas-controlled Gaza. The precise links between the various organizations engaged are difficult to trace.
This emergent reality in northern Sinai has serious implications for Israel. While the main focus of the jihadi activity is directed against Sisi’s administration in Cairo, some of the groups centrally involved have a track record of attacks against Israeli targets.

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