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Israeli envoy leaves Cairo after embassy attack

News4u-News Desk-Cairo, (AFP)Israel flew its ambassador home from Cairoon Saturday after protesters stormed its embassy building, plunging Egypt’s military rulers into their worst diplomatic crisis since they took over from Hosni Mubarak.

Three people were killed and 1,049 wounded in clashes between protesters and police, the Health Ministry said.

The United States, which has poured billions of dollars of military aid into Egypt since it made peace with Israel in 1979, urged Cairo to protect the embassy after protesters hurled embassy documents and the Israeli flag from windows.

“Our dignity has been restored,” said Mohi Alaa, 24, a protester who was speaking near the site of overnight clashes with police around the building that houses the Israeli embassy. Bits of concrete and bullet casings were strewn over the street.

“We don’t want the Americans’ money,” he said, reflecting a growing readiness among many Egyptians to express anger at Israel and the United States over Israeli treatment of the Palestinians, after decades of pragmatic official relations.

Police had fired shots in the air and teargas to disperse the crowd. Protesters had lit tires in the street and at least two vehicles were set alight near the embassy, located on the upper floors of a residential block overlooking the Nile.

One of the three who died was in the nearby Agouza hospital, where a Reuters reporter saw a corpse with a punctured chest.

Some 500 protesters stayed after dawn and a few threw stones at police, who gradually pushed them away and secured the area.

It was the second big eruption of violence at the embassy since five Egyptian border guards were killed last month when Israel repelled cross-border raiders it said were Palestinians. Egypt then briefly threatened to withdraw its envoy to Israel.

Israel has stopped short of apologizing, saying it is still investigating the Egyptian deaths, which occurred during an operation against gunmen who had killed eight Israelis.

AMBASSADOR EVACUATED

Israeli ambassador Yitzhak Levanon, staff and family members arrived home on Saturday, but one diplomat stayed in Egypt to maintain the embassy, an Israeli official said.

State television said Prime Minister Essam Sharaf headed an emergency ministerial crisis meeting and then went to see Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who heads the military council that has ruled Egypt since Mubarak resigned on February 11.

Israel is finding itself increasingly at odds with formerly sympathetic states in the region. It is already embroiled in a feud with Turkey, once the closest of its few Muslim allies, over its treatment of the Palestinians.

Egypt’s generals, under pressure to hand power to civilians more swiftly, must balance public calls for a more assertive foreign policy toward Israel with maintaining ties that bring cash and top-notch U.S. military equipment.

Under Mubarak, Egyptians could never show such hostility to Israel without a crushing security response.

Egypt’s ties with Israel, though never warm, were a pillar of Mubarak’s foreign policy and buttressed his claim to be a regional mediator. Mubarak regularly met Israeli officials.

US President Barack Obama called on Egypt to “honor its international obligations” and protect the Israeli mission. He told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington was taking steps to resolve the situation.

An Israeli official said the ambassador, staff and family members had left in one plane and a second one had brought home six Israeli security personnel who had been left guarding the embassy, protected from the crowd only by a reinforced door until Egyptian troops extracted them.

“The fact that Egyptian authorities ultimately acted with determination is laudable. With that said, Egypt cannot let slide this harsh blow to the fabric of relations with Israel and the gross violation of international norms,” Netanyahu said in a statement. He also thanked Washington for its role.

“SERIOUS STANCE”

Before attacking the embassy, protesters had tried to storm a local police compound, hurled stones at the police and set at least four vehicles and a public building ablaze.

The April 6 movement, which helped to lead the anti-Mubarak uprising, said those behind the violence were trying to “distort the image of the revolution.” It blamed supporters of Mubarak.

Some politicians and activists criticized the violence, even if they backed the anti-Israel demonstration.

Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy called for the army to take a “serious stance matching the public anger” toward Israel, but said violence sullied the image of Egypt’s uprising.

Last month, a man scaled the embassy building, took down Israel’s flag and replaced it with Egypt’s. Protests continued daily but did not turn violent until the latest flare-up.

In response to the protests, the authorities had erected a wall around the building, which was quickly defaced with anti-Israel slogans and then painted in Egypt’s national colors.

On Friday, the wall was torn down after a demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square calling for speedier reforms and a deeper purge of officials who worked for Mubarak, the former president on trial on charges including conspiring to kill protesters.

Egypt Map

Egypt Map

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Zia’s son involved in abortive weapons smuggling to ULFA

News4u-News Desk-Former Bangladesh premier Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman was involved in an abortive smuggling of weapons, believed to be meant for ULFA militants in Assam, the detained prime accused in the country’s biggest ever arms haul case has claimed.

“Hafizur Rahman (the prime accused) has told the magistrate that he had met Tarique Rahman at Hawa Bhaban along with ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom) leader Paresh Barua on 1st April, 2004,” the state-run BSS news agency quoted a senior police official as saying Sunday night.

The official said Hafiz named many other stalwarts of Zia’s past Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led four-party alliance government alongside intelligence and administrative officials at the fag end in his confessional statement made over the past two days before a magistrate.

Hafiz’s 43-page statement came after he was interrogated in custody for three days while he told the magistrate that he escorted Barua to the Hawa Bhaban days ahead of the offload of the secret consignment.

“Paresh Barua entered into the Hawa Bhaban leaving me outside at the entrance and had a meeting with Tarique Rahman,” the official said quoting the statement as saying.

Tarique, who is now the senior vice chairman of BNP, faces a number of graft and criminal cases, is now in London while the party leaders said he was being treated there.

On the concluding day of three-day remand three days ago, Hafiz agreed to confess before Metropolitan Magistrate Mahbubur Rahman who recorded his confessional statements.

Investigation Officer Mohammad Moniruzzaman Sunday said the latest statement of Hafiz seemed to be a “major development” in the investigation process since a reinvestigation into the scam was ordered two years ago.

But officials familiar with the statement said Hafiz, however, did not disclose the source of the weapon consignment as he was interrogated at the CID headquarters in Dhaka and rather most of the time he repeated the information confessed earlier during the two rounds of remands in custody.

The consignment of 10 truckloads of weapons was seized despite suspected efforts of the influential quarters for its safe passage through the Bangladesh’s southeastern port city but the case was shelved for years after the apparently “accidental” seizure.

The past military-backed interim government two years ago ordered the reinvestigation amid allegations that there was a deliberate attempt on the part of the then administration under the BNP-led government to suppress facts.

CID, which was tasked to re-investigate the case earlier, obtained an extended three months’ time from a Chittagong court while the reinvestigation process yielded the arrest of several high-profile intelligence officials including two ex-army generals who earlier headed the apex National Security Intelligence (NSI).

Several senior officials were also quizzed.

The latest development came a month after local government minister Syed Ashraful Islam alleged that Zia’s past government had arranged a secret meeting of former Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf with jailed ULFA leader Anup Chetia in Dhaka while it was in power

Former Bangladesh premier Khaleda Zia's son Tarique Rahman

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3 held for smuggling heroin

News4u-News Desk-Chennai, Two Sri Lankan nationals were among three persons arrested here today by Narcotics Control Bureau officials for allegedly possessing 660 grams of heroin, valued at about Rs 60 lakh in international market.

The heroin was seized along with some “incriminating” documents from the three at a hotel here by officers of NCB South Zonal Unit, Chennai, following a tip-off.

Two Sri Lankan nationals — Ramesh (34) and Kanakasabai alilas Suganthan (31) — and their associate Mohamed Aslam (32) of Kerala residing in Mumbai were arrested, NCB Zonal Director S Davidson Devasirvatham said in a release tonight.

He said preliminary investigation revealed that Aslam had brought the narcotic from Mumbai by concealing it in the false bottom of his suitcase and delivered it to Ramesh and Suganthan for onward shipment to Sri Lanka.

Arrested

Arrested

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‘Qaeda men smuggling propaganda material out of UK prisons’

News4u-News Desk-Al-Qaeda leaders are promoting ‘jihad’ from inside the high-security prisons in Britain by smuggling out propaganda for the internet and finding recruits, a Home Office-funded think tank has claimed.
In an authoritative report, Quilliam, the think tank, said “mismanagement” by the Prison Service is helping al-Qaeda gain recruits and risks “strengthening jihadist movements”.
According to the report, Abu Qatada, described by Britain’s intelligence agency MI5 as “Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe” has posted ‘fatwas’ on the internet from Long Lartin jail, calling for ‘jihad’ or holy war and the “murder” of moderate Muslims, ‘The Times’ reported.
Abu Qatada is a radical Islamic cleric wanted on terror charges in Jordan. Like other jailed terrorist leaders, Qatada is meant to be cut off from his supporters outside.
Even during a brief spell of freedom in 2005, a government control order barred him from spreading his incendiary sermons without the permission of the Home Secretary.
Yet last year, under the noses of warders, it is said that Qatada and Adel Abdel Bary, leader of the UK branch of Egyptian ‘Islamic Jihad’, were able to smuggle out a series of ‘fatwas’ - religious decrees - legitimising attacks by al-Qaeda.
Qatada and Bary are two of about 100 Islamist terrorists in UK prisons.
Many are held in supposedly top-security jails such as Long Lartin, Belmarsh in southeast London, Frankland in Co Durham or Woodhill in Milton Keynes, for inciting or plotting attacks in which hundreds of people could have died.
One petty criminal, Muktar Said Ibrahim, who turned to Islam while a teenage inmate, had served time for indecent assault on a 15-year-old girl and mugging a 77-year-old woman at a Tube station.
He graduated to terrorism via various radical London mosques and camps in Afghanistan and went on to lead the failed London bombings of 21st July, 2005, the report said.
Today those already convicted or suspected of terrorist offences have a different - and equally dangerous - role from their prison cells. They are the recruiters, seeking out a new generation of converts who will become the terrorist leaders
of tomorrow, the report claimed.
Abu Doha, al-Qaeda’s main recruiter in Europe, has taken courses in Belmarsh enabling him to mentor other inmates.
Abu Hamza, jailed in 2006 for inciting murder, has preached sermons to followers using water pipes in his Belmarsh cell.
Rachid Ramda, leader of the Paris Metro bomb plot, led Friday prayers in the same jail.
Dhiren Barot, leader of the ‘dirty bomb’ plot to attack London, and Omar Kyham, who led the failed ‘fertilizer bomb’ plot, organised gang violence.
Prisoners risked becoming “incubators of extremism,” Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, a former Chairman of Government’s joint intelligence committee and now shadow security minister, said
The Ministry of Justice said all category ‘A’ prisoners were strictly monitored.

News4u-News Desk-Al-Qaeda leaders are promoting ‘jihad’ from inside the high-security prisons in Britain by smuggling out propaganda for the internet and finding recruits, a Home Office-funded think tank has claimed.

In an authoritative report, Quilliam, the think tank, said “mismanagement” by the Prison Service is helping al-Qaeda gain recruits and risks “strengthening jihadist movements”.

According to the report, Abu Qatada, described by Britain’s intelligence agency MI5 as “Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe” has posted ‘fatwas’ on the internet from Long Lartin jail, calling for ‘jihad’ or holy war and the “murder” of moderate Muslims, ‘The Times’ reported.

Abu Qatada is a radical Islamic cleric wanted on terror charges in Jordan. Like other jailed terrorist leaders, Qatada is meant to be cut off from his supporters outside.

Even during a brief spell of freedom in 2005, a government control order barred him from spreading his incendiary sermons without the permission of the Home Secretary.

Yet last year, under the noses of warders, it is said that Qatada and Adel Abdel Bary, leader of the UK branch of Egyptian ‘Islamic Jihad’, were able to smuggle out a series of ‘fatwas’ - religious decrees - legitimising attacks by al-Qaeda.

Qatada and Bary are two of about 100 Islamist terrorists in UK prisons.

Many are held in supposedly top-security jails such as Long Lartin, Belmarsh in southeast London, Frankland in Co Durham or Woodhill in Milton Keynes, for inciting or plotting attacks in which hundreds of people could have died.

One petty criminal, Muktar Said Ibrahim, who turned to Islam while a teenage inmate, had served time for indecent assault on a 15-year-old girl and mugging a 77-year-old woman at a Tube station.

He graduated to terrorism via various radical London mosques and camps in Afghanistan and went on to lead the failed London bombings of 21st July, 2005, the report said.

Today those already convicted or suspected of terrorist offences have a different - and equally dangerous - role from their prison cells. They are the recruiters, seeking out a new generation of converts who will become the terrorist leaders

of tomorrow, the report claimed.

Abu Doha, al-Qaeda’s main recruiter in Europe, has taken courses in Belmarsh enabling him to mentor other inmates.

Abu Hamza, jailed in 2006 for inciting murder, has preached sermons to followers using water pipes in his Belmarsh cell.

Rachid Ramda, leader of the Paris Metro bomb plot, led Friday prayers in the same jail.

Dhiren Barot, leader of the ‘dirty bomb’ plot to attack London, and Omar Kyham, who led the failed ‘fertilizer bomb’ plot, organised gang violence.

Prisoners risked becoming “incubators of extremism,” Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, a former Chairman of Government’s joint intelligence committee and now shadow security minister, said

The Ministry of Justice said all category ‘A’ prisoners were strictly monitored.

Abu Qatada published fatwas, or religious rulings, on the internet from Long Lartin

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Cyclone fuels Indo-Bangla border smuggling in WB

News4u-News Desk-Hingalganj (Sundarbans),  Soon after the clock strikes midnight, the muddy roads on the Indo-Bangla border, at Sahebkhali in Sundarbans, become busy with trains of cattle being herded on a secret journey culminating in Bangladesh where they will be slaughtered for shipment as processed beef.
The border at Chanralkhali village here on the bank of Kalindi river which separates Bangladesh and India has been a witness to the smuggling of truckloads of cattle from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for some time now.
Ever since Cyclone Aila devastated the deltas and hit the Border Security Force (BSF) by damaging patrolling boats and breaching embankments and roads, there has been a manifold increase in smuggling aided by hapless villagers.
“A recent spate in smuggling by villagers has put BSF jawans on high alert,” says a jawan on duty at the border village, 100 km from Kolkata.

News4u-News Desk-Hingalganj (Sundarbans),  Soon after the clock strikes midnight, the muddy roads on the Indo-Bangla border, at Sahebkhali in Sundarbans, become busy with trains of cattle being herded on a secret journey culminating in Bangladesh where they will be slaughtered for shipment as processed beef.

The border at Chanralkhali village here on the bank of Kalindi river which separates Bangladesh and India has been a witness to the smuggling of truckloads of cattle from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for some time now.

Ever since Cyclone Aila devastated the deltas and hit the Border Security Force (BSF) by damaging patrolling boats and breaching embankments and roads, there has been a manifold increase in smuggling aided by hapless villagers.

“A recent spate in smuggling by villagers has put BSF jawans on high alert,” says a jawan on duty at the border village, 100 km from Kolkata.


Cyclone Aila

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Rampant cattle smuggling into Bangladesh worries BSF

News4u-News Desk,Shillong, Dec 5 (PTI) Apart from tracking infiltration, the Border Security Force has been preoccupied with chasing cattle along the Indo-Bangla frontier.

Over 10,000 cattle estimated to be valued at over Rs 13 crore were seized by the BSF so far this year alone along the border in Assam and Meghalaya.

A worried Inspector-General of BSF’s Assam and Meghalaya Frontier, P K Mishra, said smuggling of livestock to Bangladesh has turned into an industry with a huge demand for the animal in the neighbouring country.

“Cattle smuggling has become a disease and the transaction amount can go up to crores of rupees. But the irony is that the finished leather goods made of these cattle are exported to India,” he said.

Mishra said the cattle are brought mostly from northern states like Haryana, Rajasthan, UP and Punjab. They are loaded in trucks which transport them to about three km from the international border from where they are distributed among local goons who smuggle them across the border.

Reports said every third cow in Bangladesh is smuggled in from India. Official estimates put the annual turnover from leather, meat and meat exports from smuggled Indian cattle in Bangladesh at over Rs 25 billion (more than half a billion US dollars).

CATTLE SMUGGLING

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